The 2010 U.S. Census recorded 3,810 black Americans with Fitzpatrick as their last name. That represented 9% of the total of 40,449 entries.
This article tracks their numbers in the census since the Civil War. We also look at historic African American people named Fitzpatrick.
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.
665 people named Fitzpatrick were recorded in the 1870 census as black and 89 as mixed.
There was a total of 12,982 people with the name.
Fitzpatrick 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 1,008 people with the last name Fitzpatrick as black within a total of 18,262 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 1,536 people named Fitzpatrick as black within a total of 23,939.
Historic Black Figures With The Fitzpatrick Surname
Here are some notable African Americans in history with Fitzpatrick as their last name.
- Born: 1937
- From: Jacksonville, Florida
- Died: 2013
Al Fitzpatrick earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism from Florida A&M University.
He started in journalism as a reporter and editor at various newspapers, including the Tallahassee Democrat, the Detroit Free Press, and the Pittsburgh Press.
Fitzpatrick became the first African American editor of the St. Petersburg Times (now the Tampa Bay Times) in 1973. He expanded the newspaper’s coverage of racial issues and minority communities.
He later served as the publisher of the St. Petersburg Evening Independent.
Fitzpatrick founded the independent newspaper, The Weekly Challenger, which focused on African American issues and news.
He was an active member of the National Association of Black Journalists. The association inducted him into their Hall Of Fame in 2006.
Here are just a few other notable black journalists in the Hall Of Fame:
- Born: 1902
- From: Jamaica
- Died: 1950
Cyril Fitzpatrick immigrated to the United States in the 1920s. He earned his law degree from New York University School of Law and was admitted to the New York State Bar in 1928.
Fitzpatrick made history in 1937 by becoming the first African American to be elected to the New York State Assembly.
During his time in the Assembly, he championed many civil rights causes, including anti-lynching legislation and fair employment practices.
He was also involved in efforts to improve housing conditions for African Americans and fought against discrimination in public schools.
Fitzpatrick practiced law after leaving the Assembly in 1942. He remained active in civil rights campaigns throughout his career.
He was a founding member of the National Lawyers Guild and served as president of the Harlem Lawyers Association.
He also served as a member of the New York City Commission on Human Rights and was involved in the fight for desegregation in the city’s schools.
Fitzpatrick In Black Military Records
Military records are a rich resource of for family history research. Here are examples of the Fitzpatrick surname from several different military services.
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 Fitzpatrick was in March 1877. James Fitzpatrick was a Recruit in the Tenth Cavalry. He was stationed in March 1877 at Fort Concho, Texas.
One of the later entries was in July 1912. Lewis Fitzpatrick was a Private in the Tenth Cavalry.
If you are researching military ancestors, there is a free index of these records on Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org.
You have to create an account on either website, but you do not need to pay for the Buffalo Soldiers archive.
Is Fitzpatrick An Irish Name?
Historically, the name originated in Ireland. It dates back to the 12th century in that country.
If you’re curious, we have an article about how African Americans come to have Irish last names.