Gilmore As An African American Last Name

The 2010 U.S. Census recorded 13,670 black Americans with Gilmore as their last name. That represented 28% of the total of 48,719 entries.

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

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.

1,369 people named Gilmore were recorded in the 1870 census as black and 225 as mixed.

There was a total of 9,766 people with the name.

Gilmore 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 3,101 people with the last name Gilmore as black within a total of 17,159 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 5,499 people named Gilmore as black within a total of 27,583.

Historic Black Figures With The Gilmore Surname

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

Vanessa Gilmore

  • Born: 1956
  • From: St Albans, New York

Vanessa Gilmore studied law at the University of Houston. She joined a legal practice in the city while also getting very involved in civic organizations.

President Clinton nominated her to sit on a Texas district court in 1994.

Gilmore In Black Military Records

Military records are a rich resource of information for family history research. Here are examples of the Gilmore 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 Gilmore was in August 1875. Walker Gilmore was a Private in the United States Ninth Cavalry. He was stationed in August 1875 at Fort Clark, Texas.

Another entry was in December 1914. Albert Gilmore was a Trumpeter in the United States 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.

Joseph E. Gilmore

One of the earliest entries for Gilmore was for Joseph E. Gilmore from Belfast, Maine. He enlisted in July 1862 at Baltimore when he was aged 24.

The record shows that Joseph E. was assigned on March 1864 to the ship Southfield.

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

An ordinary seaman in the Navy is an apprentice who serves on the deck.

John M. Gilmore

One of the later entries was for a sailor who enlisted at Boston in April 1863. John M. was aged 26 and was from Boston, Massachusetts.

He was assigned to the ship Shenandoah on June 1864.

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

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