Fields As An African American Last Name

The 2010 U.S. Census recorded 38,708 black Americans with Fields as their last name. That represented 36% of the total of 107,522 entries.

This article compares census numbers before and after the Civil War. We also look at historic African American people named Fields in the last three centuries.

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 onwards, all black Americans were included.

4,395 people named Fields were recorded in the 1870 census as black and 635 as mixed.

There was a total of 15,296 people with the name.

Fields 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 10,759 people with the last name Fields as black within a total of 28,887 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 14,614 people named Fields as black within a total of 50,663.

Historic Black Figures With The Fields Surname

Here is a notable African American in history with the name of Fields.

Cleo Fields

  • Born: 1962
  • From: Baton Rouge, Louisiana

When Cleo Fields was elected to the U.S. House Of Representatives in 1993, he was the youngest congressman in the House.

He served two terms before the changing of district boundaries removed his natural voting support.

Fields grew up in poverty. His mother was widowed young and had to raise and support ten children. He studied law at Southern University where he took a keen interest in politics.

He made an audacious run for the Louisiana state senate while in his final student year. He became the youngest state senator in Louisiana.

Fields fought several legal battles against gerrymandering and boundary changes. After losing his seat in Congress, he focused on his legal career.

Fields In Black Military Records

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

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 Fields was in May 1867. George Fields was a Recruit in the Tenth Cavalry. He was stationed in May 1867 at Fort Gibson, Connecticut.

One of the later entries was in March 1915. Wilbert Fields was a Private in the 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 Fields

One of the earliest entries for Fields was for William Fields from . He enlisted in February 1862 at Cincinnati when he was aged 24.

The record shows that William was assigned on April 1863 to the ship Great Western.

His occupation before enlisting was as a Laborer. His naval rank was Fireman.

Allen Fields

One of the later entries was for a sailor who enlisted at Baltimore in August 1864. Allen was aged 18 and was from Baltimore, Maryland.

He was assigned to the ship William Badger on June 1865.

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

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