Southwest Virginia Project: Boundaries

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Southwest Virginia Project
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The Southwest Virginia Project focuses on the far southwestern corner of Virginia. Its boundaries are roughly delimited by the boundaries of Old Washington County established in 1777 from Fincastle County (now extinct). The following map shows the relationship of modern counties in this area to the original boundaries of Old Washington County.

The area here referred to as Southwest Virginia includes all of Bucannan, Dickenson, Wise, Lee, Scott, Russell, and Washington Counties. Note that the northeastern boundaries of Old Washington County do not align precisely with the modern county boundaries. A portion of Buchanan County lies outside the original boundaries of Old Washington, while portions of modern Smythe County was once part of Old Washington, as did large portions of modern Kentucky. Finally, the very southwestern tip of modern Grayson county, was originally part of Old Washington. This area lies to the east of the crest of the Blue Ridge, and is not considered part of Southwestern Virginia.

While the focus of this project remains on the area within the boundaries of Old Washington, we are not adverse to looking somewhat further afield if the occasion arises. Many of the reference works useful for Southwest Virginia include information for areas well beyond the formal boundaries of the Southwest Virginia Project. The series of works by the Kegley's Early Adventurer's on The Western Waters includes information from Old Washington and Fincastle Counties, but its focus is actually upon the New River and Upper Clinch-Holston settlements. Since many of the settlers in Southwest Virginia (especially in the lower Holston watersheds), made an initial stop in the New River Settlements, Early Adventurers" often contains information directly pertinent to the settlers of Southwest Virginia.