The 2010 U.S. Census recorded 1,634 black Americans with Still as their last name. That represented 13% of the total of 12,354 entries.
This article tracks their numbers in the census since the Civil War. We also look at historic African American people named Still.
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.
444 people named Still were recorded in the 1870 census as black and 66 as mixed.
There was a total of 2,692 people with the name.
Still 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 765 people with the last name Still as black within a total of 4,928 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 860 people named Still as black within a total of 7,041.
Historic Black Figures With The Still Surname
Here are some notable African Americans in history with Still as their last name.
- Born: 1821
- From: Burlington County, New Jersey
- Died: 1902
The Underground Railroad was a network of safe houses and travel routes organized by many church and community leaders, civil rights activists, and abolitionists. Thousands of enslaved people were helped to escape from the South.
William Still’s parents escaped from slavery to New Jersey in the early 1900s. William was the youngest of their eighteen children. Although his parents got sixteen of their children away, the elder two remained enslaved.
William grew up free and moved to Philadelphia in 1844. William joined the abolitionist cause and started working as a clerk for the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society in 1847. A meticulous record keeper, he later became chairman of this important group that helped a large number of slaves escape from the South to freedom.
One fateful day, William recognized one of the fugitives who arrived at his office. It was his lost older brother Peter (Levin Jr was killed by a whipping). After Emancipation, William published a book about the Underground Railroad to document the stories of those who escaped.
We have reproduced many excerpts of the Underground Railroad on our website.
- Born: 1848
- From: Philadelphia
- Died: 1919
Caroline Anderson was a daughter of the abolitionist William Still. She fought to get access to medical school in Boston and qualified as a doctor in 1879.
She opened a dispensary and practice in Philadelphia. She married Matthew Anderson and they founded a vocational school, the Berean Institute.
Still In Black Military Records
Military records are a rich resource of information for family history research. Here are examples of the Still surname from military service.
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 Still was in November 1898. Max Kutz Still was a Private in the U.S. Tenth Cavalry. He was stationed in November 1898 at Camp A G Forse, Alabama.
One of the later entries was in April 1905. Revere N Still 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 Still was for William Still from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He enlisted in November 18 1861 at Philadelphia when he was aged 22.
His occupation before enlisting was as a Waiter. His naval rank was Landsman.
“Landsman” was the lowest rank at the time and was given to recruits with little sea experience.
Still 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 200 records for Still in the archives. Here are some of the first names: