Burrell As An African American Last Name

The 2010 U.S. Census recorded 11,494 black Americans with Burrell as their last name. That represented 47% of the total of 24,504 entries.

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

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.

719 people named Burrell were recorded in the 1870 census as black and 133 as mixed.

There was a total of 2,825 people with the name.

Burrell 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 1,716 people with the last name Burrell as black within a total of 5,246 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 3,005 people named Burrell as black within a total of 10,012.

Historic Black Figures With The Burrell Surname

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

Prudence Burrell

  • Born: 1916
  • From: Mounds, Illinois
  • Died: 2012

Prudence Hathaway worked as a maid to fund her nursing studies in Kansas City and qualified in 1939.

When American entered the Second World War, the army started a recruitment drive for black nurses. Prudence joined the Army Nurse Corps in 1942 where she met and married Lieutenant Lowell Burell.

Prudence served as an army nurse in Australia, New Guinea, and the Philippines. After the war, Prudence pursued a university degree at the University of Minnesota and became a math teacher.

But her nursing legacy was not forgotten. Throughout her life, she spoke about the experiences of black nurses during WWII. She published her memoirs in 1997.

Burrell In Black Military Records

Military records are a rich resource of information for family history research. Here are examples of the Burrell 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 Burrell was in July 1886. C. Burrell was a Blacksmith in the U.S. Ninth Cavalry. He was stationed in July 1886 at Fort Niobrara, Nebraska.

Another entry was in February 1902. Louis Burrell was a Private in the U.S. Tenth Cavalry.

If you are researching military ancestors, there is a free index of these records on Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org.

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.

Edward Burrell

One of the earliest entries for Burrell was for Edward Burrell from Richmond, Virginia. He enlisted in January 1863 at Philadelphia when he was aged 21.

The record shows that Edward was assigned on January 1864 to the ship Lodona.

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

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

Isaiah Burrell

One of the later entries was for a sailor who enlisted at Boston in January 1862. Isaiah was aged 28 and was from Johnson, Rhode Island.

He was assigned to the ship Pittsburgh on January 1865.

His occupation before enlisting was as a Sailor. His naval rank was Coal Heaver.

Coal heavers in the Navy shoveled coal into the furnace in the engine room.