Beasley As An African American Last Name

The 2010 U.S. Census recorded 13,172 black Americans with Beasley as their last name. That represented 28% of the total of 47,693 entries.

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

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

After Emanciaption

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.

1,062 people named Beasley were recorded in the 1870 census as black and 181 as mixed.

There was a total of 4,574 people with the name.

Beasley 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 3,047 people with the last name Beasley as black within a total of 11,282 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 5,197 people named Beasley as black within a total of 23,399.

Historic Black Figures With The Beasley Surname

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

Cheri Beasley

  • Born: 1966
  • From: Chicago, Illinois

Cheri Beasley earned her law degree at the University of Tennesse in 1991. She worked as a public defender in North Carolina for eight years.

Beasley was appointed as a district court judge in 1999 and was relected several times. She ran for election to the North Carolina Court of Appeals in 2008 and secured her position on the appeals bench. Four years later, she was appointed to the state Supreme Court.

When Beasley was appointed as the state’s Chief Justice, she was the first black woman to hold the position in North Carolina.

Beasley In Black Military Records

Military records are a rich resource of information for family history research. Here are examples of the Beasley 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 Beasley was in April 1869. George Beasley was a Private in the U.S. Tenth Cavalry. He was stationed in April 1869 at Fort Dodge, Texas.

Another entry was in February 1913. Brack Beasley was a Trumpeter 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.

Leroy Beasley

One of the earliest entries for Beasley was for Leroy Beasley from . He enlisted in July 1864 at Bridgeport, Alabama when he was aged 14.

The record shows that Leroy was assigned on December 1864 to the ship General Thomas.

His occupation before enlisting was as a Farmer/Laborer. His naval rank was 1st Class Boy.

“1st Class Boy” was the rank given to young men who enlisted when they were under eighteen.

Fountain Beasley

One of the later entries was for a sailor who enlisted at Port Royal in August 1864. Fountain was aged 23.

He was assigned to the ship on .

His naval rank was Landsman.

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