Flowers As An African American Last Name

The 2010 U.S. Census recorded 23,180 black Americans with Flowers as their last name. That represented 40% of the total of 57,549 entries.

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

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.

1,231 people named Flowers were recorded in the 1870 census as black and 185 as mixed.

There was a total of 5,870 people with the name.

Flowers 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 3,973 people with the last name Flowers as black within a total of 12,406 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 7,352 people named Flowers as black within a total of 24,422.

Historic Black Figures With The Flowers Surname

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

Dorothy Jean Flowers

  • From: Butler County, Alabama

In the 1960s, a small town in Alabama named Greenville was unusually diverse. The local education authorities defied the state opposition to desegregation and gave tacit agreement to allowing black students enrol in all-white schools.

Dorothy Jean Flowers was one of three African American girls who desegregated Greenville High School. Miss Flowers transferred to the school at the start of her senior year.

Along with Peggy Crewshaw and Wynona Parmer, Dorothy Jean made history by graduating from Greenville in 1967.

Flowers In Black Military Records

Military records are a rich resource of information for family history research. Here are examples of the Flowers 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 Flowers was in July 1867. Benjamin Flowers was a Private in the U.S. Tenth Cavalry. He was stationed in July 1867 at Fort Leavenworth and Louisville, Kentucky.

Another entry was in June 1914. Jesse Flowers 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.

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.

Henry Flowers

One of the earliest entries for Flowers was for Henry Flowers from Norfolk, Virginia. He enlisted in December 1862 at Cincinnati when he was aged 23.

The record shows that Henry was assigned on December 1863 to the ship Cricket.

His naval rank was 2nd Class Fireman.

Firemen in the Navy worked in the engine room and with other machinery.

Charles Flowers

One of the later entries was for a sailor who enlisted at New York in June 1864. Charles was aged 38 and was from Montgomery, Pennsylvania.

He was assigned to the ship Calypso on June 1865.

His occupation before enlisting was as a Mariner. His naval rank was Seaman.

A seaman or “able seaman” in the Navy is a sailor who is not an officer.