Chandler As An African American Last Name

The 2010 U.S. Census recorded 15,544 black Americans with Chandler as their last name. That represented 20% of the total of 79,186 entries.

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

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.

1,683 people named Chandler were recorded in the 1870 census as black and 282 as mixed.

There was a total of 15,274 people with the name.

Chandler 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 3,784 people with the last name Chandler as black within a total of 24,919 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 5,683 people named Chandler as black within a total of 41,074.

Historic Black Figures With The Chandler Surname

Here are some notable African Americans in history with Chandler as their last name.

Sadie Chandler Cole

  • Born: 1865
  • From: Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Died: 1941

Sadie Chandler’s parents were active in the Underground Railroad helping enslaved people escape north to Canada. She married Thomas Cole and eventually settled in Los Angeles.

Sadie Chandler Cole joined the LA chapter of the NAACP in 1913. As a vice-president of the chapter, she spoke at rallies and organized opposition to segregated areas and beaches.

Chandler Cole was also a talented singer and musical instructor.

Henry Wilkins Chandler

  • Born: 1852
  • Born: Bath, Maine
  • Died: 1938

Henry Chandler was the first black American to graduate from Bates College, which he did so in 1874. During his time there, he edited the college newspaper.

He studied law at Howard University and started a law practice in Ocala, Florida, in 1878.

He won a seat in the Florida Senate in 1880 where he served for two terms. He and his wife, Annie Onley, had several children, the eldest being Edward Chandler who we cover next.

Edward Marion Chandler

  • Born :1887
  • From: Florida
  • Died: 1973

Edward Chandler got his first degree from Howard University in Washington D.C. He then did a masters in chemistry at Clark University in 1914 and completed his doctorate in 1917 at the University of Illinois.

Chandler was the second black American to obtain a doctorate in chemistry (after St. Elmo Brady). He worked in Chicago for several industrial dyes companies and was also an expert in explosive material.

He was a founding faculty member of the new Roosevelt College, that was established in 1945 as a racially integrated institution.

Chandler In Black Military Records

Military records are a rich resource of information for family history research. Here are examples of the Chandler surname from different military services:

  • Buffalo soldiers
  • Black civil war sailors
  • Tuskegee airmen

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 Chandler was in May 1867. Alphonzo Chandler was a Recruit in the U.S. Tenth Cavalry. He was stationed in May 1867 at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

One of the later entries was in June 1915. Clark P Chandler was a 1st Lieutenant 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.

William Chandler

One of the earliest entries for Chandler was for William Chandler from Wilmington, North Carolina. He enlisted in September 29 1863 at New York when he was aged 21.

The record shows that William was assigned on June 30 1864 to the ship Minnesota.

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

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

Tuskegee Airmen

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.

Robert Chandler graduated from the Tuskegee Institute in February 1944. He qualified as a fighter pilot. Robert was from Allegan, Michigan.