Warren As An African American Last Name

The 2010 U.S. Census recorded 36,423 black Americans with Warren as their last name. That represented 24% of the total of 152,147 entries.

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

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.

4,634 people named Warren were recorded in the 1870 census as black and 500 as mixed.

There was a total of 30,443 people with the name.

Warren 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 9,524 people with the last name Warren as black within a total of 49,855 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 13,970 people named Warren as black within a total of 82,426.

Historic Black Figures With The Warren Surname

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

Nathan Warren

  • Born: 1812
  • From: Versailles, Kentucky
  • Died: 1888

Nathan Warren was born enslaved in Kentucky. His second owner granted Nathan’s freedom after his death. He worked for many years as a carriage driver for a wealthy attorney.

Warren also took over a confectionery shop in Little Rock which became renowned for cakes and pastries. He built up the business through the 1840s and 1850s.

Nathan’s brother Henry was also free, and they pooled funds to buy their younger brother James from Nathan’s former owner in 1844. That meant that the teenager was still enslaved but owned by his brothers. Nathan was able to emancipate him in 1850.

The growing prejudice against free slaves in Arkansas led to Warren relocating to Xenia, Ohio. There, he was ordained as a pastor in the AME Church.

When Union troops took Little Rock during the Civil War, Nathan returned and founded a church. He continued as a successful businessman, owning a bakery, a fruit store, and another confectionery store.

Warren In Black Military Records

Military records are a rich resource of information for family history research. Here are examples of the Warren surname from different military services:

  • Buffalo soldiers
  • Black civil war sailors
  • Tuskegee airmen

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 Warren was in June 1870. Henry Warren was a Private in the U.S. Tenth Cavalry. He was stationed in June 1870 at Fort Sill, Indian Territory.

One of the later entries was in March 1914. George Warren was a 1st Sergeant in the U.S. Ninth 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.

Nathaniel Warren

One of the earliest entries for Warren was for Nathaniel Warren from Rockville, Maryland. He enlisted in May 5 1859 at Philadelphia when he was aged 24.

The record shows that Nathaniel was assigned on January 1 1900 to the ship .

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

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

John Warren

One of the later entries was for a sailor who enlisted at Donaldsonville LA in February 13 1864. John was aged 25 and was from Eastern Shore, Maryland.

He was assigned to the ship Argosy on March 31 1865.

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

“1st Class Boy” was the rank given to young men who enlisted when they were under eighteen.

Tuskegee Airmen

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.

James Warren graduated from the Tuskegee Institute in October 1944. He qualified as a fighter pilot. James was from Brooklyn, New York.