Duval County is a county located in the U.S. state of Florida. As of 2010, the population was 864,263. Its county seat is Jacksonville, with which the Duval County government has been consolidated since 1968. Duval County was established in 1822, and is named for William Pope DuVal, Governor of Florida Territory from 1822 to 1834.
This area had been settled by varying cultures of indigenous peoples for thousands of years before European contact. Within the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve in Jacksonville, archeologists have excavated remains of some of the oldest pottery in the United States, dating to 2500 BCE. Prior to European contact, the area was inhabited by the Mocama, a Timucuan-speaking group who lived throughout the coastal areas of northern Florida. At the time Europeans arrived, much of what is now Duval County was controlled by the Saturiwa, one of the most powerful tribes in the region. The area that became Duval County was home to the 16th-century French colony of Fort Caroline, and saw increased European settlement in the 18th century with the establishment of Cowford, later renamed Jacksonville.
Duval County was created in 1822 from St. Johns County. It was named for William Pope DuVal, Governor of Florida Territory from 1822 to 1834. When Duval County was created, it covered a massive area, from the Suwannee River on the west to the Atlantic Ocean on the east, north of a line from the mouth of the Suwannee River to Jacksonville on the St. Johns River. Alachua and Nassau counties were created out of parts of Duval County in 1824. Clay County was created from part of Duval County in 1858. Part of St. Johns County south and east of the lower reaches of the St. Johns River was transferred to Duval County in the 1840s.
On October 1, 1968, the government of Duval County was consolidated with the government of the city of Jacksonville, although the Duval County cities of Atlantic Beach, Baldwin, Jacksonville Beach, and Neptune Beach are not included in the corporate limits of Jacksonville, and maintain their own municipal governments.