Derrick As An African American Last Name

The 2010 U.S. Census recorded 1,553 black Americans with Derrick as their last name. That represented 17% of the total of 9,365 entries.

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

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.

132 people named Derrick were recorded in the 1870 census as black and 22 as mixed.

There was a total of 1,426 people with the name.

Derrick 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 367 people with the last name Derrick as black within a total of 2,926 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 451 people named Derrick as black within a total of 5,143.

Historic Black Figures With The Derrick Surname

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

William Derrick

  • Born: 1843
  • From: Antigua
  • Died: 1913

William Derrick grew up on the island of Antigua where he attended school. He sailed with the U.S. Navy in the early 1860s. He joined the AME Church in 1866 and became a church leader. He became a bishop in 1896.

Derrick co-edited a Republican newspaper with T Thomas Fortune before Fortune took it over. He was also a member of Fortune’s Afro-American Council. Derrick was a proponent of civil rights laws and preached in favor of improving conditions for African Americans.

Derrick was a close friend of Booker T. Washington. He was awarded a degree in divinity from Wilberforce University in 1885 and later became a trustee.

Derrick In Black Military Records

Military records are a rich resource of information for family history research. Here are examples of the Derrick 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 Derrick was in June 1898. Silas E Derrick was a Private in the U.S. Ninth Cavalry. He was stationed in June 1898 at Port Tampa, Florida.

One of the later entries was in February 1910. David Derrick was a Private 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.

Derrick In The Freedmen’s Bureau Records

The Freedmen’s Bureau was established after the Civil War to help newly freed African Americans. You can read more in our article on researching the Freedmen archives.

There are over 150 records for Derrick in the archives. Here are some of the first names:

  • Aaron
  • Godfrey
  • Julia
  • Sultana