County Basics

Counties Have a History

Pretty much everything has a history, counties included. In fact, counties in the U.S. have been around a really long time. Not only that, there are some counties that used to exist but don’t anymore. These counties are called “extinct,” like dinosaurs. Often they got absorbed into new counties that were created.

Follow the link and jump to the section "History & Diversity" to find out exactly how long counties have been around. Then, follow the directions in the questions below.

Response Question: 

1. What year were the first counties established?

Now click here to find information about counties in your state:

  • On the map, click on your state. (If you get a warning that the map is unavailable, ignore it.)
  • On the next page, scroll down and click “View Individual County Chronologies.”

2. Scroll through the county list. Does your state have any extinct counties? If so, give the name of an extinct county and the reason why it no longer exists.
3. Find your county on the list. Is there any special information there about changes in the past?

If you can’t find anything for the two questions above, look through your state’s county list and find one interesting historical fact. Describe it here.

Response required