Volusia County is located in the east-central part of the U.S. state of Florida, bordered by the St. Johns River to the west and the south, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. The county was founded on December 29, 1854. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 494,593. It is the sole county of the Deltona–Daytona Beach–Ormond Beach, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area, which was the 103rd-largest metropolitan area in the United States as of 2010. The county seat is DeLand, and the largest municipality is Deltona.
The county is further listed by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget as part of the Orlando–Deltona–Daytona Beach, FL Combined Statistical Area. This includes the Metropolitan Statistical Areas of Orlando–Kissimmee–Sanford and Palm Coast (Flagler County), as well as the micropolitan area of The Villages (Sumter County). The Combined Statistical Area was estimated to have a population of 2,818,120 in 2010.
Volusia County was named after the then-largest-community, Volusia, when the Florida legislature divided Orange County on December 29, 1854. At the time, Volusia County had as few as 600 residents.
The origins of the word "Volusia" are unclear, though there are several theories:
The land area of present day Volusia County was inhabited by the indigenous Timucua, and Mayaca people . Neither group exists today as distinct racial entities, having been decimated by war and disease after contact with European settlers. Evidence of their habitation can still be seen in various areas of Volusia County such as the large shell middens at Tomoka State Park.
During the British occupation of Florida, a failed colony was started in southeast Volusia County by Andrew Turnbull, known as New Smyrna. This colony was connected to St. Augustine, the capital of East Florida, via the Kings Road. After the failure of the colony the settlers, many of Minorcan heritage made the journey to live in St. Augustine.
The Seminole Indians, descendants of the Creek tribe of Alabama and Georgia who resisted forced relocation to Indian Territory also camped in various parts of Volusia County. During the Second Seminole War (1836–1842) a large sugar plantation in what is today the city of Daytona Beach was burned by the Seminole.