Fletcher As An African American Last Name

The 2010 U.S. Census recorded 17,376 black Americans with Fletcher as their last name. That represented 21% of the total of 83,063 entries.

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

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.

2,229 people named Fletcher were recorded in the 1870 census as black and 352 as mixed.

There was a total of 16,982 people with the name.

Fletcher 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 4,571 people with the last name Fletcher as black within a total of 28,575 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 6,431 people named Fletcher as black within a total of 44,844.

Historic Black Figures With The Fletcher Surname

Here is a notable African American in history with Fletcher as their last name.

William Fletcher

  • Born: 1934
  • From: Durham, North Carolina

William Flether graduated with a degree in mathematics from North Carolina Central University in 1956.

He joined the maths faculty at Lemoyne-Owen College in Memphis in 1957 and spent 15 years there. During that time, he received a PhD from the University of Idaho.

In 1972, he was appointed chairman of the maths department of his undergraduate college. He spent twenty-five years building the maths and computer science departments.

Fletcher In Black Military Records

Military records are a rich resource of information for family history research. Here are examples of the Fletcher 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 Fletcher was in May 1867. Stephen Fletcher was a Recruit in the U.S. Tenth Cavalry. He was stationed in May 1867 at Fort Gibson, Connecticut.

Another entry was in March 1911. John P. Fletcher 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 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.

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.

Thomas Fletcher

One of the earliest entries for Fletcher was for Thomas Fletcher from St Louis, Missouri. He enlisted in September 1863 at Chicago when he was aged 35.

The record shows that Thomas was assigned on December 1863 to the ship Lexington.

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

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

Joseph Fletcher

One of the later entries was for a sailor who enlisted at Bridgeport in August 1864. Joseph was aged 18 and was from Davidson County, Tennessee.

He was assigned to the ship General Grant on July 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.

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.

Henry Fletcher graduated from the Tuskegee Institute in November 1943. He qualified as a fighter pilot. Henry was from San Antonio, Texas.