The rare name Aristede appeared in the U.S. baby name data just twice, debuting in 1969:
- 1971: unlisted
- 1970: 5 baby boys named Aristede
- 1969: 17 baby boys named Aristede
- 1968: unlisted
- 1967: unlisted
The Gothic soap opera Dark Shadows (1966-1971). Dark Shadows was never one of the most popular soaps on TV, but it did have a dedicated following, particularly while the “1897 Flashback” storyline was airing from February 1969 to November 1969.
One character who appeared regularly during 1969 was Aristede (played by Michael Stroka). Aristede was a strange young man who was a servant to the warlock Count Andreas Petofi. His curved dagger also had a name: “The Dancing Girl.”
Aristede’s name can be traced back to the ancient Greek word aristos, meaning “best.”
…But we can’t stop with Aristede, because other Dark Shadows characters influenced American baby names as well!
For instance, another character introduced during the “1897 Flashback” was a boy named Jamison Collins. We see a corresponding rise in the usage of the name Jamison in 1969:
- 1971: 175 baby boys named Jamison [rank: 628th]
- 1970: 195 baby boys named Jamison [rank: 577th]
- 1969: 121 baby boys named Jamison [rank: 713th]
- 1968: 35 baby boys named Jamison
- 1967: 30 baby boys named Jamison
In fact, actor David Selby, who played werewolf character Quentin Collins (Jamison’s uncle), named his real-life son Jamison Selby (b. 1969) after the character.
Another storyline was the “1795 Flashback” that aired from November 1967 to April 1968. Two primary characters during that period were well-to-do Josette du Pres and servant-girl Angelique (who was also a witch!).
The name Josette saw its highest-ever usage in 1968:
- 1971: 219 baby girls named Josette [rank: 696th]
- 1970: 297 baby girls named Josette [rank: 593rd]
- 1969: 294 baby girls named Josette [rank: 576th]
- 1968: 502 baby girls named Josette [rank: 420th]
- 1967: 182 baby girls named Josette [rank: 728th]
- 1966: 48 baby girls named Josette
And the name Angelique saw a significant increase in usage in 1968 as well:
- 1971: 820 baby girls named Angelique [rank: 323rd]
- 1970: 941 baby girls named Angelique [rank: 301st]
- 1969: 624 baby girls named Angelique [rank: 371st]
- 1968: 764 baby girls named Angelique [rank: 314th]
- 1967: 186 baby girls named Angelique [rank: 717th]
- 1966: 142 baby girls named Angelique [rank: 838th]
Have you ever seen an episode of Dark Shadows? If so, what did you think?