The 2010 U.S. Census recorded 47,959 black Americans with Hayes as their last name. That represented 25% of the total of 194,246 entries.
This article tracks their numbers in the census since the Civil War. We also look at historic African American people named Hayes.
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.
1,574 people named Hayes were recorded in the 1870 census as black and 273 as mixed.
There was a total of 18,251 people with the name.
Hayes 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 6,455 people with the last name Hayes as black within a total of 51,878 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 15,409 people named Hayes as black within a total of 97,500.
Historic Black Figures With The Hayes Surname
Here are some notable African Americans in history with Hayes as their last name.
- Born: 1894
- From: Richmond, Virginia
- Died: 1968
George Hayes studied law at Howard University and opened a legal practice in the District of Columbia. He taught law at Howard in the 1920s while practicing.
One of his notable cases was in 1954 when he acted for Annie Lee Moss (maiden name Crawford) who was investigated by Joseph McCarthy’s Un-American Activities Committee. The testimony of this elderly soft-spoken black lady was part of turning public opinion against McCarthy.
In the same year, he was the lead counsel on a case against school segregation in the District of Columbia. The Bolling vs Sharpe case was a companion of the famous Brown vs Board of Education led by Thurgood Marshall. These landmark cases established that school segregation was unconstitutional.
- Born: 1918
- From: Cairo, Illinois
- Died: 1997
Charles Hayes started working as a machine operator after graduating high school in 1935. He organized a strike in 1939 in protest of poor working conditions and formed a local chapter of the Carpenters and Joiners Union.
When he moved to Chicago to work in a meatpacking factory, he became a union leader. He worked strenuously against segregation and discriminatory hiring.
He was involved in Chicago sit-ins in the 1950s, and arranged financial support for the Montgomery bus boycott. Hayes was heavily involved in the anti-apartheid protests in the 1980s. He won a seat in Congress in 1983.
Other Union Leaders
Hosea Hudson was another prominent black union leader in the twentieth century.
Hayes In Black Military Records
Military records are a rich resource of for family history research. Here are examples of the Hayes surname from three different military services:
- Buffalo soldiers
- Black civil war sailors
- Tuskegee airmen
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 Hayes was in May 1867. James Hayes was a Recruit in the U.S. Tenth Cavalry. He was stationed in May 1867 at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
One of the later entries was in November 1914. Washington A Hayes was a Trumpeter in the U.S. Tenth Cavalry.
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.
One of the earliest entries for Hayes was for Tecumseh Hayes from New Vienna, Ohio. He enlisted in February 1863 at Cincinnati when he was aged 22.
The record shows that Tecumseh was assigned on October 1862 to the ship Curlew.
His occupation before enlisting was as a Barber. His naval rank was Seaman.
A seaman in the Navy is a sailor who is not an officer.
One of the later entries was for a sailor who enlisted at Boston in June 1865. John was aged 23 and was from Wilmington, Delaware.
He was assigned to the ship Nipsic on July 1865.
His occupation before enlisting was as a Mason. His naval rank was Landsman.
“Landsman” was the lowest rank at the time and was given to recruits with little sea experience.
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.
Lee Hayes graduated from the Tuskegee Institute in January 1946. He qualified as a bomber pilot. Lee was from East Hampton, New York.
Reginald Hayes came from Holicong, Pennsylvania. He graduated in March 1944 as a bomber pilot.
You can find a full list of graduate pilots in our list of Tuskegee Airmen.