Delaware's Hundreds and Counties

On October 25, 1682, William Penn directed that Delaware be divided into hundreds for the purposes of taxation. A "hundred" is an old English Saxon land division which is smaller than a county or shire and larger than a tithing. A hundred was comprised of ten tithings, each of which held ten freeholder families. The hundreds of Delaware originally served as judicial or legislative districts, but they now remain only as a basis for property tax assessment.

Originally, there were five hundreds in New Castle (NC) County, five in Kent (KT) County and two in Sussex (SX) County. As the population grew, several of the hundreds divided, creating new hundreds. By 1875, the total number of hundreds had grown to thirty-three. Since then, there have been no more changes.

For a map of the hundreds as they were from 1775-1830 see The MD-DE Divide

In the table below the present-day hundreds are designated by * and all the former names are included.

Reference: Donn Devine's article in Delaware 1782 Tax Assessment and Census Lists (Delaware Genealogical Society, 1994), by Ralph D. Nelson, Jr., Catherine B. Nelson, Thomas P. Doherty, and Mary Fallon Richards and John C. Richards. (This has a more thorough discussion on hundreds.)

HUNDRED*(2)(County)	ABBREV	ESTAB 	  REMARKS (former or later name) 
Appoquinimink*(NC)	Appoqu	1682	 part is now Blackbird
Baltimore*(SX)	 	Baltim	1775	 was part of Worcester County MD
Blackbird*(NC)	  	Blackb	1875	 was part of Appoquinimink
Brandywine*(NC) 	Brandy	1682
Broad Creek*(SX)	BroadC	1775	 part is now Gumboro & Dagsboro; was MD
Broadkill*(SX)	  	Broadl	1696	 part is now Georgetown; also Broadkiln
Cedar Creek*(SX)	CedarC	1702	 also called Cedar Hook
Cedar Hook (SX)		CedarH	1702	 now Cedar Creek
Christiana*(NC)	 	Christ	1682	 part is now Wilmington
Dagsborough*(SX)	Dagsbo	1773	 part was Broad Creek; part was MD <1775
Deep Creek (SX)	  	DeepCr		 now Nanticoke
Dover (KT)		Dover	1823	 was St Jones, now E & W Dover
Duck Creek*(KT)	  	DuckCr	1682	 part is now Little Creek and part is Kenton
East Dover*(KT)	  	EDover	1859	 was part of Dover

Georgetown*(SX)	  	George	1863	 also 1833-35; was part of Broadkill
Gumborough*(SX)	  	Gumbor	1873	 was part of Broad Creek and Dagsboro
Indian Creek (SX)	Indian	1706	 now Indian River
Indian River*(SX)	IndiaR	1706	 also called Indian Creek	

Kenton*(KT)		Kenton	1869	 was Duck Creek and Little Creek
Lewes & Rehoboth*(SX)	LewesR	1692	 was also Rehoboth
Little Creek*(KT)	LitCrK	1869	 was part of Duck Creek
Little Creek*(SX)	LitCrS	1774	 was part of Somerset County MD
Milford*(KT)		Milfor	1830	 was part of Mispillion
Mill Creek*(NC)	  	MillCr	1710
Mispillion*(KT)	  	Mispil	1682	 part is now Milford
Motherkill (KT)	  	Mother	1682	 now N & S Murderkill
Murderkill (KT)	  	Murder		 was Motherkill, now N & S Murderkill
Nanticoke*(SX)	  	Nantic	1775	 was Deep Creek
New Castle*(NC)	  	NewCas	1682	
North Murderkill*(KT)	NMurde	1855	 was part of Murderkill
Northwest Fork*(SX)	Northw	1775	 part is now Seaford; was Maryland

Pencader*(NC)		Pencad	1710
Red Lion*(NC)		RedLio	1710
Rehoboth (SX)		Rehobo	1696	 now Lewes & Rehoboth
St. Georges*(NC)	StGeor	1682
St. Jones (KT)	  	StJone	1682
Seaford*(SX)		Seafor	1869	 was part of Northwest Fork
South Murderkill*(KT)	SMurde	1855	 was part of Murderkill
West Dover*(KT)	 	WDover	1859	 was part of Dover
White Clay Creek*(NC)	WhiteC	1710
Wilmington*(NC)		Wilmin	1833	 was part of Christiana

History of the Delaware Counties

There are now only three counties in Delaware: New Castle, Kent and Sussex
Reference: Mary Fallon Richards, Durham County Maryland - Sussex County Delaware in Delaware Genealogical Society Journal, Vol. 3, p 73ff (Oct 1986)
NAME		CREATED		REMARKS			COUNTY SEAT
Deale		  1680	Renamed Sussex Co in 1682	   Lewes
Horrekill Dist	  1664	Named in 1680	
Kent*(KT)	  1682	Formerly St. Jones Co 		   Dover
New Castle*(NC)	  1673	Original county			   Wilmington
St. Jones	  1680	from Horrekill District in 1664
			renamed Kent Co in 1682
Sussex* (SX)	  1682	from Deale Co 			Lewes to 1791,
			& Durham Co MD(3)		then Georgetown

© Delaware Genealogical Society -- July 16, 2010 -- delgensoc.org