Shadd As An African American Last Name

The 2010 U.S. Census recorded 459 black Americans with Shadd as their last name. That represented 28% of the total of 129 entries.

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

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.

23 people named Shadd were recorded in the 1870 census as black and 20 as mixed.

There was a total of 115 people with the name.

Shadd 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 35 people with the last name Shadd as black within a total of 98 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 77 people named Shadd as black within a total of 248.

Historic Black Figures With The Shadd Surname

Here are some notable African Americans in history with Shadd as their last name.

Mary Ann Shadd

  • Born: 1823
  • From: Wilmington, Delamere
  • Died: 1893

Mary Ann Shadd was born to free parents in Delaware. Her father was a shoemaker who helped fugitives on the Underground Railroad.

The family moved to Pennsylvania when it became illegal in Delaware to educate black children. Mary Ann and her brother Isaac eventually moved to Windsor, Canada, where she started an integrated school.

After the introduction of the Fugitive Slave Act in 1850, American slave catches started going over the Canadian border to grab escaped slaves. The Chatham Vigilance Committee was founded in Ontario, one of several groups that sought to protect fugitives.

Mary Ann was a member of the Chatham Committee. The committee activities included storming a train in Chatham to rescue a boy, Sylvanus Demarest, being transported to Michigan by a slave catcher.

She and her brother also established an abolitionist newspaper. Mary Ann traveled often to the United States to speak at anti-slavery meetings.

Shadd In Black Military Records

Military records are a rich resource of information for family history research. Some of the earliest for African Americans date back to the Civil War.

President Lincoln authorized the use of “colored troops” in combat in the Union Army in 1863, although some black units had fought before then.

The records show that Gabrial J Shadd was in the 55th Massachusetts Colored Infantry. He was aged 42 in a military record of June 1863.

Shadd 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 several residential and employment records for Shadd in the archives. Here are some of the first names:

  • A. E.
  • Charles
  • Nancy
  • William