Hampton As An African American Last Name

The 2010 U.S. Census recorded 27,997 black Americans with Hampton as their last name. That represented 40% of the total of 69,472 entries.

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

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.

2,689 people named Hampton were recorded in the 1870 census as black and 323 as mixed.

There was a total of 9,255 people with the name.

Hampton 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 6,134 people with the last name Hampton as black within a total of 17,584 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 10,620 people named Hampton as black within a total of 32,217.

Historic Black Figures With The Hampton Surname

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

Henry Hampton

  • Born: 1940
  • From: St Louis, Missouri
  • Died: 1998

Henry Hampton graduated from Washington University with a degree in literature in 1961. The son of a doctor, Hampton nearly followed in his father’s footsteps but he dropped out of medical school in his first year.

Hampton traveled to Selma, Alabama, in 1965 to join the marches for voting rights. When he later established a film production company, the content included civil rights activism as well as consumer and privacy rights.

His best known work is the Emmy award-winning tv series, Eyes On The Prize, which covered the civil rights movement from the 1950s.

Hampton In Black Military Records

Military records are a rich resource of information for family history research. Here are examples of the Hampton 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 Hampton was in August 1867. Kent Hampton was a Recruit in the U.S. Tenth Cavalry. He was stationed in August 1867 at Fort Riley, Kansas and Cincinnati, Ohio.

Another entry was in September 1914. Joseph Hampton was a Private in the U.S. 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.

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.

James W. Hampton

One of the earliest entries for Hampton was for James W. Hampton from Charleston, South Carolina. He enlisted in November 1861 at Philadelphia when he was aged 20.

The record shows that James W. was assigned on to the ship Landsman.

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

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

Wade Hampton

One of the later entries was for a sailor who enlisted at Memphis in August 1863. Wade was aged 22 and was from Nashville, Tennessee.

He was assigned to the ship Black Hawk on July 1864.

His occupation before enlisting was as a Waiter. His naval rank was 1st Class Boy.

“1st Class Boy” was a rank generally given to seamen in training, who performed various manual tasks and duties aboard a ship under supervision. This could prepare them for promotion to the rank of ordinary seaman.