Shenandoah County Courthouse in Woodstock
Location within the U.S. state of Virginia
Virginia's location within the U.S.
|Named for||Senedos Indian tribe|
|o Total||512 sq mi (1,330 km2)|
|o Land||509 sq mi (1,320 km2)|
|o Water||3.4 sq mi (9 km2) 0.7%|
| o Estimate |
|o Density||82/sq mi (32/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (Eastern)|
|o Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (EDT)|
Shenandoah County (formerly Dunmore County) is a county located in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 41,993. Its county seat is Woodstock. It is part of the Shenandoah Valley region of Virginia.
The Senedos, possibly an Iroquoian group, are thought to have occupied the area at one time, until they were said to have been slaughtered by the Catawba in the later 17th century. The name of both the Valley and of the County is most likely connected with this Native American group. It has also been attributed to General George Washington naming it in honor of John Skenandoa, an Oneida chief from New York who helped gain support of Oneida and Tuscarora warriors to aid the rebel colonists during the American Revolutionary War.
Colonial Governor Gooch formally purchased the entire Shenandoah Valley from the Six Nations of the Iroquois by the Treaty of Lancaster in 1744. The Iroquois controlled the valley as a hunting ground. European settlement had already begun by that time. During Pontiac's War (1763-1766), Shawnee attacks reached as far east as the current county.
Shenandoah County was established in 1772. It was originally named Dunmore County for Virginia Governor John Murray, 4th Earl of Dunmore. Woodstock was the county seat. Dunmore was Virginia's last royal governor, and was forced from office during the American Revolution. During the war, in 1778 rebels renamed the county as Shenandoah.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 512 square miles (1,330 km2), of which 509 square miles (1,320 km2) is land and 3.4 square miles (8.8 km2) (0.7%) is water. The Fort Valley and western slopes of the Massanutten Mountain are located within the county.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 41,993 people residing in the county. 93.0% were White, 1.7% Black or African American, 0.5% Asian, 0.2% Native American, 2.8% of some other race and 1.6% of two or more races. 6.1% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race). 26.4% were of American, 22.0% German, 10.3% English and 7.6% Irish ancestry.
As of the census of 2000, there were 35,075 people, 14,296 households, and 10,064 families residing in the county. The population density was 68 people per square mile (26/km²). There were 16,709 housing units at an average density of 33 per square mile (13/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 95.60% White, 1.17% Black or African American, 0.18% Native American, 0.35% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.79% from other races, and 0.89% from two or more races. 3.40% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 14,296 households out of which 28.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.00% were married couples living together, 9.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.60% were non-families. 25.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 2.86.
In the county, the population was spread out with 22.30% under the age of 18, 6.60% from 18 to 24, 27.60% from 25 to 44, 26.20% from 45 to 64, and 17.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 94.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.80 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $39,173, and the median income for a family was $45,080. Males had a median income of $29,952 versus $22,312 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,755. About 5.80% of families and 8.20% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.10% of those under age 18 and 8.80% of those age 65 or over.
Shenandoah County has been a Republican stronghold in presidential elections since the turn of the last century. Being first won by a Republican Presidential nominee in 1896. It began voting 100% Republican in presidential elections from 1936 onwards. It was one of the first counties in Virginia to ditch the Democratic Party. The county began voting Republican in statewide elections around beginning of the 20th century, but was a swing county. In the 1920s it became solidly republican at a statewide level, with the exception of Democratic local hero Harry F Byrd and his son. This early republican voting record came from the county's rural voters being overwhelmingly German American Republicans, which overpowered the conservative Southern Democrat vote in the county population centers of New Market, Woodstock, and Strasburg.