The 2010 U.S. Census recorded 15,419 black Americans with Carroll as their last name. That represented 11% of the total of 134,317 entries.
This article tracks their numbers in the census since the Civil War. We also look at historic African American people named Carroll.
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.
1,583 people named Carroll were recorded in the 1870 census as black and 246 as mixed.
There was a total of 22,067 people with the name.
Carroll 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 3,565 people with the last name Carroll as black within a total of 43,376 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 4,886 people named Carroll as black within a total of 68,405.
Historic Black Figures With The Carroll Surname
Here is a notable African American in history with Carroll as their last name.
- Born: 1922
- From: Brooklyn, New York
- Died: 2016
After George Carroll served the U.S. Army duing the Second World War, he studied law at Brooklyn Law School. He qualifed as an attorney in 1950 and ran a legal practice in New York in several years.
Carroll moved to Richmond, California, in 1953 and became the first black lawyer in the city. He was elected as the city’s first black mayor in in 1964.
When Governor Pat Brown appointed him to the Contra Costa Municipal Court, he became the county’s first black judge.
The Richmond Courthouse was renamed after Judge Carroll in 2009.
Carroll In Black Military Records
Military records are a rich resource of information for family history research. Here are examples of the Carroll surname from different military services:
- Buffalo soldiers
- Black civil war sailors
- Tuskegee airmen
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 Carroll was in July 1879. Robert T. Carroll was a Private in the U.S. Ninth Cavalry. He was stationed in July 1879 at Fort Bliss, Texas.
Another entry was in March 1915. Benjamin F. Carroll was a Sergeant in the U.S. Ninth Cavalry.
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 T. Carroll
One of the earliest entries for Carroll was for Charles T. Carroll from Richmond, Virginia. He enlisted in August 1862 at Washington when he was aged 15.
The record shows that Charles T. was assigned on October 1863 to the ship Colorado.
His occupation before enlisting was as a Farmhand/Farmer. His naval rank was 1st Class Boy.
“1st Class Boy” was a rank generally given to seamen in training, who performed various manual tasks and duties aboard a ship under supervision. This could prepare them for promotion to the rank of ordinary seaman.
James N. Carroll
One of the later entries was for a sailor who enlisted at Boston in March 1864. James N. was aged 22 and was from Boston, Massachusetts.
He was assigned to the ship Cherokee on April 1865.
His occupation before enlisting was as a Painter. His naval rank was 2nd Class Fireman.
Firemen in the Navy worked in the engine room and with other machinery.
The Tuskegee Airmen were military personnel who served at the Tuskegee Army Airfield or related programs.
Nearly one thousand black pilots graduated from the Tuskegee Institute. They flew single-engine fighter planes or twin-engine bombers. 352 fought in combat.
Alfred Carroll graduated from the Tuskegee Institute in November 1943. He qualified as a fighter pilot. Alfred was from Washington, D.C..
Lawrence Carroll came from Chicago, Illinois. He graduated in November 1945 as a bomber pilot.
You can find a full list of graduate pilots in our list of Tuskegee Airmen.