The 2010 U.S. Census recorded 12,251 black Americans with Chatman as their last name. That represented 79% of the total of 15,473 entries.
This article tracks their numbers in the census since the Civil War. We also look at historic African American people named Chatman.
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.
561 people named Chatman were recorded in the 1870 census as black and 79 as mixed.
There was a total of 1,441 people with the name.
Chatman 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 3,113 people with the last name Chatman as black within a total of 5,299 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 4,002 people named Chatman as black within a total of 6,104.
Historic Black Figures With The Chatman Surname
Here is a notable African American in history with Chatman as their last name.
- Born: 1947
- From: Texas
- Died: 2020
Tracy Chatman grew up in California where she excelled for her college basketball team and graduated with a degree in physical education. Chatman coached basketball and was head coach at San Jose State for ten years from 1976.
She then switched lanes at 38 years old and studied law. After qualifying, she became a prosecutor for another ten years in Santa Clara.
Chatman was appointed as a judge in Santa Clara where she presided over the domestic violence courts.
Chatman In Black Military Records
Military records are a rich resource of information for family history research. Here are examples of the Chatman surname from military service.
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 Chatman was in June 1873. William Chatman was a Private in the U.S. Tenth Cavalry. He was stationed in June 1873 at Fort Concho, Texas.
Another entry was in July 1914. Littleton Chatman was a Trumpeter 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.
One of the earliest entries for Chatman was for Allen Chatman from Bolivar County, Mississippi. He enlisted in July 1863 at White River when he was aged 22.
The record shows that Allen was assigned on March 1864 to the ship Eastport.
His occupation before enlisting was as a Fieldhand. 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.
One of the later entries was for a sailor who enlisted at Boston in November 1862. Lewis was aged 24 and was from Norfolk, Virginia.
He was assigned to the ship Alabama on August 1865. His naval rank was Landsman.
“Landsman” was the lowest rank at the time and was given to recruits with little sea experience.