Anthony As An African American Last Name

The 2010 U.S. Census recorded 17,597 black Americans with Anthony as their last name. That represented 32% of the total of 55,114 entries.

This article tracks their numbers in the census since the Civil War. We also look at historic African American people named Anthony.

We end with a review of early records of black military service in the United States.

After The Civil War

The 1870 census was the first survey after the Civil War and the Emancipation Proclamation. In 1850 and 1860, only free African Americans were recorded in the census. The many enslaved were omitted.

From 1870 onward, all black Americans were included.

1,708 people named Anthony were recorded in the 1870 census as black and 254 as mixed.

There was a total of 8,438 people with the name.

Anthony In The 1900 And 1940 Census

The mixed category was dropped from the census in 1900, so we just need to look at the black numbers this time.

The 1900 census recorded 3,370 people with the last name Anthony as black within a total of 14,064 that year.

By the way, the mixed category returned in the 1910 and 1920 censuses. It was dropped again in 1930, but replaced with extra categories for colored and non-white in a way that seems confusing now.

This changed again in 1940 and we can simply focus on one black category.

The 1940 census recorded 5,841 people named Anthony as black within a total of 26,542.

Historic Black Figures With The Anthony Surname

Here is a notable African American in history with Anthony as their last name.

Lillian Anthony

  • Born: 1925
  • From: Louisville, Kentucky
  • Died: 2014

Lillian Anthony was the first Director of Civil Rights for Minneapolis before joining the faculty at the University of Minnesota.

President Clinton appointed her to his Disability Task Force in 1995.

Anthony In Black Military Records

Military records are a rich resource of information for family history research. Here are examples of the Anthony surname from military service.

Buffalo Soldiers

Five regiments for black soldiers were formed during the Civil War. They were known as the Buffalo Soldiers.

Their records are part of the national archive of military monthly returns. The information includes the year and place of birth, where they enlisted, their occupation, and their height.

One of the earliest military entries for Anthony was in March 1885. William H. Anthony was a Trumpeter in the U.S. Ninth Cavalry. He was stationed in March 1885 at Fort Elliott, Texas.

Another entry was in May 1913. Eugene Anthony was a Private in the U.S. Ninth Cavalry.

If you are researching military ancestors, there is a free index of these records on and

You have to create an account on either website, but you do not need to pay for the Buffalo Soldiers archive.

Black Civil War Sailors

The National Parks Service has a free archive of African American sailors during the Civil War.

The information includes their age, height, rank, occupation, and where and when they enlisted. It also includes every ship that they served on.

You can search the database on the National Parks website.

Charles Anthony

One of the earliest entries for Anthony was for Charles Anthony from Philadelphia. He enlisted in September 1863 at Boston when he was aged 24.

The record shows that Charles was assigned on March 1864 to the ship Nipsic.

His occupation before enlisting was as a Barber. His naval rank was Landsman.

“Landsman” was the lowest rank at the time and was given to recruits with little sea experience.

John Anthony

One of the later entries was for a sailor who enlisted at Cairo in December 1864. John was aged 18 and was from Hickman, Mississippi.

He was assigned to the ship General Pillow on June 1865.

His occupation before enlisting was as a Laborer. His naval rank was Landsman.

“Landsman” was the lowest rank at the time and was given to recruits with little sea experience.