Mystery Monday: The Baby Name Marsheila

Here’s a triple-name mystery from 1957.

The most popular of the three names was Marsheila:

  • 1961: 5 baby girls named Marsheila
  • 1960: 22 baby girls named Marsheila
  • 1959: 6 baby girls named Marsheila
  • 1958: 10 baby girls named Marsheila
  • 1957: 32 baby girls named Marsheila [debut]
  • 1956: unlisted

While it wasn’t the top girl-name debut of the year — that was Tierney — it did come in second.

Lower down on the debut list we see Marshelia:

  • 1961: unlisted
  • 1960: 6 baby girls named Marshelia
  • 1959: unlisted
  • 1958: 6 baby girls named Marshelia
  • 1957: 18 baby girls named Marshelia [debut]
  • 1956: unlisted

And below that is one-hit wonder Marsheela:

  • 1958: unlisted
  • 1957: 11 baby girls named Marsheela [debut]
  • 1956: unlisted

All told, over 60 baby girls got one of these three names in 1957.

Multiple spellings often point to an audio source (e.g., radio, TV) as opposed to a visual source (e.g., book, magazine). Beyond that, though, I don’t have any good theories about where these names came from.

Anyone know?

marsheela, broken arrow, 1957
Marsheela
UPDATE, 8/10/15: Frank made quick work of this one! See the first comment below.

Turns out Marsheela was a character from the “Apache Girl” [vid] episode of the TV show Broken Arrow. The episode aired in mid-1957, and the character was played by actress Donna Martell.

In the episode, Apache chief Cochise tries to arrange a marriage for his niece Marsheela. In the end, though, he lets her pick a husband for herself.


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