Gill As An African American Last Name

The 2010 U.S. Census recorded 10,462 black Americans with Gill as their last name. That represented 14% of the total of 74,948 entries.

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

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.

1,638 people named Gill were recorded in the 1870 census as black and 210 as mixed.

There was a total of 13,716 people with the name.

Gill 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 3,018 people with the last name Gill as black within a total of 24,663 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 4,192 people named Gill as black within a total of 36,903.

Historic Black Figures With The Gill Surname

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

Tepper Gill

  • Born: 1941
  • From: Selma, Alabama

Although born in Selma, Tepper Gill grew up in Detroit where his father worked at the Ford Motor Company. Tepper was initially interested in music and then took a job caring for race horses.

However, he used night school to gain entry into Wayne State University where he obtained his degree in maths and physics in 1966. He went on to pursue a doctorate in mathematics at Wayne State which he completd in 1974.

He was appointed a professor at Howard University where he was instrumental in securing research grants worth millions of dollars. His academic research includes aspects of Einstein’s special theory of relativity.

Gill In Black Military Records

Military records are a rich resource of information for family history research. Here are examples of the Gill 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 Gill was in May 1873. Robert Gill was a Private in the United States Ninth Cavalry. He was stationed in May 1873 at Peritas, Texax.

Another entry was in March 1902. Wesley Gill was a Private in the United States Tenth 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.

Daniel Gill

One of the earliest entries for Gill was for Daniel Gill from Norfolk, Virginia. He enlisted in August 1881 at New York when he was aged 24.

The record shows that Daniel was assigned on October 1864 to the ship Potomac.

His naval rank was Landsman.

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

Jackson Gill

One of the later entries was for a sailor who enlisted at in . Jackson was aged 21 and was from St Simons, Georgia.

He was assigned to the ship Housatonic on October 1864.

His naval rank was .

Gill 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 Residence records for Gill in the archives. Here are some of the first names:

  • David
  • Harriet
  • Pamela
  • Rebecca