Soon after Jamestown was settled in May 1607, voyages were made up the Powhatan (James) River, reaching the falls in the heart of Henrico, where the city of Richmond now stands. In 1609, Captain Francis West attempted a settlement in the vicinity of the falls, but shortly abandoned the venture. Two years later, in 1611, Henricus, a town some fourteen miles below the falls, was established. At that same location, in 1619, it was proposed to build the first college in the new world "primarily designed for the education of Indian youth in the Christian faith; but . . . also to furnish the planters' children with an opportunity to obtain advanced tuition." This area is now in Chesterfield County.
In 1634 Henrico was established as one of the original shires. The present day counties of Henrico, Goochland, Chesterfield, Cumberland, Buckingham, Nelson, Fluvanna, Albemarle, Amherst and Campbell were parts of the original Henrico. The original Henrico lay on both sides of the James River. Turkey Island Creek and Appomattox River formed the eastern boundary, the Chickahominy River the northern, Appomattox River the southern, and to the west the territory was almost boundless. The first reduction of territory was made in 1727 when the upper part of the county on both sides of the river was taken to form Goochland. In 1748, Chesterfield County was formed from the remaining part of Henrico's territory on the south side of the James. The other counties named above were subdivisons of Goochland.
Source: William Clayton Torrence, "Henrico County, Virginia: Beginnings of Its Families: Part I,", The William and Mary Quarterly, Vol. 24, No. 2 (Oct. 1915), pp. 116-142, www.jstor.org.
Richmond City County
New Kent County
Charles City County