How popular is the baby name Shafter in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, check out all the blog posts that mention the name Shafter.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Shafter


Posts that Mention the Name Shafter

Popular baby names in Kern County (CA), 2018

According to data from the Kern County Public Health Department, the most popular baby names in the California county in 2018 were Sophia and Noah.

Here are Kern County’s top 5 girl names and top 5 boy names of 2018:

Girls Names
1. Sophia, 77 baby girls
2. Emma, 73
3. Mia, 70
4. Camila, 63
5. Isabella, 52

Boy Names
1. Noah, 84 baby boys
2. Sebastian, 78
3. Julian, 77
4. Alexander, 64
5. Liam, 57

Kern County includes Bakersfield, the ninth-most populous city in California. It also includes the city of Shafter, which was named after William Rufus Shafter, who played a part in the Spanish-American War.

We also have 2018 data for the California county San Diego, where Sophia ranks 6th and Noah 2nd.

Source: Sophia, Noah were top baby names in Kern in 2018

Baby Names Inspired by the Spanish-American War

The brief Spanish-American War (1898), which began in April and ended in August, inspired hundreds of patriotic parents in the U.S. to choose war-inspired baby names. Here are some examples:

Maine & Havana

One of the events that led to war was the explosion of the U.S.S. Maine in Cuba’s Havana Harbor on February 15. The explosion killed more than 260 men. Many people in the U.S. blamed the explosion on Spain.

The baby names Maine and Havana both debuted in the U.S. SSA baby name data in 1898.

  • 1900: unlisted
  • 1899: unlisted
  • 1898: 9 baby girls named Maine [debut] (plus 5 more named Mayne)
  • 1897: unlisted
  • 1896: unlisted

Maine was a one-hit wonder in the data — a rarity that never returned — but Havana returned to the data dozens of times since.

  • 1900: unlisted
  • 1899: unlisted
  • 1898: 8 baby girls named Havana [debut]
  • 1897: unlisted
  • 1896: unlisted

The baby name Cuba also saw a spike in usage that year:

  • 1900: 8 baby girls named Cuba
  • 1899: 14 baby girls named Cuba (rank: 884th)
  • 1898: 29 baby girls named Cuba (rank: 597th)
  • 1897: 9 baby girls named Cuba
  • 1896: unlisted
The U.S.S. Maine sinking in Havana harbor, 1898.
The U.S.S. Maine sinking in Havana harbor, 1898

According to U.S. Social Security Death Index (SSDI) data — which is more comprehensive than the SSA data for this time period — 25 babies were named Maine, 12 were named Havana, and 79 were named Cuba in 1898.

Dewey & Manila

War was formally declared on April 25. On May 1, the Battle of Manila Bay took place in the Philippines. The U.S. fleet, under the command of Commodore George Dewey, defeated Spain.

Usage of the name Dewey spiked in 1898, both for boys and for girls:

Boys named DeweyGirls named Dewey
1900345 (rank: 75th)9
1899499 (rank: 39th)24 (rank: 632nd)
18981,115 (rank: 19th)104 (rank: 305th)
1897158 (rank: 111th)13 (rank: 904th)
189663 (rank: 224th).

Impressively, Dewey reached the boys’ top 20 in 1898. The spelling variants Dewie and Dewy also debuted that year.

Going back to the SSDI, we see even higher numbers — 6,708 babies named Dewey, 36 named Dewie, and 1 named Dewy in 1898.

We even see evidence of Dewey’s spike on the U.S. Census of 1920:

  • 1910s: over 4,300 people named Dewey were born
  • 1900s: over 11,000 people named Dewey were born
  • 1890s: over 12,100 people named Dewey were born
  • 1880s: over 200 people named Dewey were born
  • 1870s: over 100 people named Dewey were born

An article in the Reading Eagle in 1899 listed ten local babies named for George Dewey, and another article I spotted from decades later joked about starting a George Dewey namesake club.

We see a similar (though less pronounced) spike of in the usage of Manila for baby girls:

  • 1900: 10 baby girls named Manila
  • 1899: 34 baby girls named Manila (rank: 512th)
  • 1898: 104 baby girls named Manila (rank: 306th) [peak usage]
  • 1897: 7 baby girls named Manila [debut]
  • 1896: unlisted

The spelling variant Manilla was the top girl-name debut of 1898, with 35 baby girls (rank: 536th).

Again, the SSDI’s numbers are even higher — 195 babies were named Manila and 118 were named Manilla in 1898.

Hobson, Admiral, Shafter, Maceo, Schley & Philippina

Here are six more war-related names that debuted on the SSA’s baby name list in 1898.

The baby name Hobson was inspired by Richmond Pearson Hobson, prisoner of war in Cuba. (Hobson was the top boy name debut of 1898, in fact.)

  • 1900: 13 baby boys named Hobson (rank: 713th)
  • 1899: 15 baby boys named Hobson (rank: 511th)
  • 1898: 38 baby boys named Hobson (rank: 311th) [debut]
  • 1897: unlisted
  • 1896: unlisted

According to the SSDI, at least 161 babies were named Hobson that year.

(Hobson was a handsome Southerner who became a national celebrity following his month-long imprisonment. He became well known for kissing pretty young women as he toured the country. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch jokingly called him “the champion kisser of the universe.”)

The baby name Admiral was the rank of many of the men (e.g. Admiral Dewey, Admiral Sampson, Admiral Schley) who played a part in the war — Dewey especially.

  • 1900: 18 baby boys named Admiral (rank: 579th)
  • 1899: 13 baby boys named Admiral (rank: 549th)
  • 1898: 25 baby boys named Admiral (rank: 394th) [debut]
  • 1897: unlisted
  • 1896: unlisted

According to the SSDI, at least 154 babies were named Admiral.

The baby name Shafter was inspired by army general William Rufus Shafter, who had command of the U.S. forces in Cuba during the war.

  • 1900: 8 baby boys named Shafter
  • 1899: unlisted
  • 1898: 14 baby boys named Shafter (rank: 604th) [debut]
  • 1897: unlisted
  • 1896: unlisted

This was the first and only time Shafter landed in the SSA’s top 1,000. According to the SSDI, at least 58 babies were named Shafter.

The baby name Maceo was inspired by Cuban revolutionary Antonio Maceo, “one of the outstanding guerrilla leaders in nineteenth century Latin America. (He died in late 1896, actually.)

  • 1900: 8 baby boys named Maceo
  • 1899: 9 baby boys named Maceo (rank: 760th)
  • 1898: 13 baby boys named Maceo (rank: 621st) [debut]
  • 1897: unlisted
  • 1896: unlisted

According to the SSDI, at least 34 babies were named Maceo.

The baby name Schley was inspired by Winfield Scott Schley, hero of the Battle of Santiago Bay.

  • 1900: unlisted
  • 1899: unlisted
  • 1898: 10 baby boys named Schley (rank: 737th) [debut]
  • 1897: unlisted
  • 1896: unlisted

Like Maine, it was a one-hit wonder in the SSA data, and, like Shafter, it was in the top 1,000 just once. According to the SSDI, at least 39 babies were named Schley.

Finally, the baby name Philippina, possibly inspired by the Philippines, was another one-hit wonder the year of the war:

  • 1900: unlisted
  • 1899: unlisted
  • 1898: 5 baby girls named Philippina [debut]
  • 1897: unlisted
  • 1896: unlisted

Interestingly, only single Philippina is accounted for in the SSDI data.

Sources:

Highest-hitting one-hits: Cinnamon, Destry, Kunta, Yulissa

The baby names below weren’t just one-hit wonders in the U.S. top 1,000 — they were the highest-hitting (700th or above) one-hits in the top 1,000 the single year they appeared in the rankings.

NameRanked…Likely Explanation
Christop241st in 1989Typo*
Yulissa424th in 1997The 1996 telenovela Te Sigo Amando featured a character named Yulissa played by Claudia Ramírez.
Nira463rd in 1933The National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) was authorized by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1933.
Elizabet524th in 1989Typo*
Manilla536th in 1898The first military action of Spanish-American War was the 1898 battle for Manila, the capital of the Philippines.
Jemal549th in 1969The Outcasts (1968-1969), the first TV Western with an African-American co-star, featured a character named Jemal.
Alexande554th in 1989Typo*
Kunta572nd in 1977The 1977 miniseries Roots (based on the Alex Haley novel) featured a character named Kunta Kinte.
Shafter604th in 1898Maj. Gen. William Rufus Shafter’s forces took Santiago (and hence helped end the Spanish-American War) in 1898.
Destry636th in 1964The short-lived 1964 show Destry was a spin-off of the 1939 film “Destry Rides Again.”
Sonji638th in 1966In 1966, Muhammad Ali and his first wife, Sonji Roi, divorced.
Sheilah665th in 1955Sheilah Graham Westbrook (1904-1988) was a gossip columnist during Hollywood’s “Golden Age.”
Clarisa665th in 1994The 1993 Mexican telenovela Clarisa featured a main character named Clarisa. (Another possible factor: The popular Nickelodeon sitcom Clarissa Explains it All (1991-1994) won an Emmy in 1994.
Tatia670th in 1966A notable 1965 episode of the TV show I Spy (1965-1968) featured a character named Tatia Loring.
Alexandr676th in 1989Typo*
Cinnamon700th in 1969The first 3 seasons of the Mission: Impossible TV series (1966-1973) featured a character named Cinnamon Carter. (That’s what put Cinnamon on the map.) Early in 1969, “Cinnamon” by Derek (a.k.a. Johnny Cymbal) was an actual one-hit wonder that peaked at #11 on the Billboard Hot 100. Later the same year, “Cinnamon Girl” by Neil Young was released.
Beyonce700th in 2001Destiny’s Child (featuring Beyoncé Knowles) won two Grammy Awards in 2001.

I didn’t include one-hits from 1880-1889 (Manerva, Zilpah, Worley, Ambers, Orilla, Simona) or the names that debuted on the 2006 list (Addisyn, Krish, Yandel, Rihanna).

*Here’s more about those typos from 1989.

One-hit wonder baby names (in the top 1,000)

Not one-hit wonder pop songs, but one-hit wonder baby names!

Many baby names have only managed to rank among the most popular in the U.S. a single time.

Here are all the one-hit wonders of the top 1,000 so far (1880-2005), grouped by decade. If I’ve written an explanatory post about the name, I’ve added a link to the post.

(Please note that the rankings from earliest decades are based on data that isn’t very reliable. So, most of those names didn’t make the top 1,000 for any particular reason — they’re mostly just statistical anomalies.)

1880s

Girl Names, 1880-89 Boy Names, 1880-89
Adina, Almyra, Chanie, Chrissie, Clemie, Cordella, Dayse, Delina, Delle, Elmire, Elzada, Estie, Fronnie, Lovisa, Lucina, Manerva, Manervia, Minervia, Neppie, Nolie, Orilla, Rillie, Sybilla, Tella, Thursa, Achsah, Ala, Alabama, Amey, Chestina, Chloie, Crissie, Daisye, Dema, Dollye, Eithel, Mila, Senora, Siddie, Sylvania, Tiney, Zilpah, Affie, Arah, Artelia, Birdella, Cathern, Cilla, Elizbeth, Fannye, Francina, Genevra, Iza, Jerusha, Loda, Lucetta, Lucindy, Luda, Mahalie, Modena, Nanna, Nelie, Olena, Sinda, Vicy, Almina, Argie, Beatrix, Cappie, Caro, Cloe, Deetta, Dorathea, Ermine, Felicie, Icey, Junia, Lovey, Marianita, Mattye, Pearla, Simona, Alzina, Annice, Georganna, Leala, Lurana, Milly, Nealy, Olivine, Oney, Savilla, Sussie, Theodocia, Violetta, Aurilla, Dosia, Emmy, Essa, Ica, Ilma, Lolla, Medora, Octa, Alwilda, Angele, Betha, Clytie, Ermina, Hilah, Louisiana, Metha, Oline, Pricilla, Alwine, Anice, Clemma, Eppie, Gustie, Octavie, Orelia Francies, Margretta, Orra, Pairlee, Pallie, Chessie, Erla, Herma, Lulah, Noemie Agustus, Baldwin, Candido, Ceylon, Clemente, Firman, Friend, Hays, Hence, Hunt, Isam, Jabez, Obed, Rafe, Redden, Salomon, Sannie, Tilden, Ambers, Cas, Casimiro, Dixon, Elonzo, Emry, Erving, Esequiel, Manly, Marius, Marrion, Mercer, Obe, Philo, Primus, Prosper, Pryor, Roll, Wiliam, Wing, York, Alanzo, Alby, Alcee, Auguste, Caswell, Clabe, Ell, Greene, Hansford, Lone, Marsh, Pearley, Wenzel, Blanchard, Bose, Charle, Emett, Grove, Hanson, Jep, Jeptha, Linzy, Lute, Milas, Thurlow, Blain, Bowman, Bunk, Donaciano, Ebenezer, Ignatz, Odin, Oley, Osborn, Shep, Vollie, Drury, Elon, Fielding, Fleet, Fount, Lark, Lim, Nim, North, Orvis, Reason, Virge, Worley, Zenas, Acey, Algernon, Amasa, Amil, Calhoun, Colbert, Elby, Fuller, Ham, Lilburn, Lovett, Pratt, Ruffin, Bliss, Dorr, Ethelbert, Gilford, Gilman, Graves, Hillery, Shepherd, Benjman, Celestino, Hart, Hilmer, Le, Liston, Lott, Nils, Vere, Abie, Alver, Anatole, Boone, Branch, Bush, Claiborne, Edw, Fed, Governor, Hjalmar, Levin, Redmond

1890s

Girl Names, 1890-99 Boy Names, 1890-99
Ethie, Fleeta, Jessye, Jetta, Sibbie, Idabelle, Lulla, Olar, Sylva, Versa, Allena, Cannie, Cliffie, Clotilda, Elmyra, Josefita, Lurena, Elfreda, Adel, Alleen, Trilby, Zela, Zeta, Manilla, Vara, Irva Almus, Conard, Guilford, Neely, Polk, Rance, Red, Algot, Alphons, Barnard, Burk, Berkley, Iverson, Job, Powell, Vick, Burleigh, Con, Ebert, Murdock, Nolen, Willaim, Aubra, Avon, Bolden, Link, Thorwald, Alston, Audy, Donat, Emmons, Erby, Esley, Hebert, Hezzie, Hughey, Oddie, Vinton, Zed, Alwin, Evander, Gaither, Grafton, Guthrie, Ovila, Acy, Aloys, Arthor, Boysie, Cam, Hale, Lisle, Offie, Silver, Virgel, Willy, Dabney, Adams, Arba, Collie, Ewart, Gladstone, Schley, Shafter, Baker, Bynum, Colvin, Elizah, Griffith

1900s

Girl Names, 1900-09 Boy Names, 1900-09
Luvinia, Dagny, Ethyle, Augustina, Girtha, Edris, Vernia, Beadie, Ilda, Neola, Orma, Vela, Clydie, Rosabelle, Theta, Arnetta, Clementina, Launa, Azalee, Macel Goebel, Tallie, Ancil, Buren, Erland, Esco, Mathews, Pate, Doll, Ivor, Victoriano, Beckham, Lenon, Ozzie, Teddie, Arbie, Council, Duard, Harm, Severo, Tobie, Fredie, Graydon, Jiles, Benard, Harrold, Delmus, Delphin, Gilmer, Ogden, Oland, Samie, Esker, Levie, Robley, Othel

1910s

Girl Names, 1910-19 Boy Names, 1910-19
Arietta, Loree, Blanchie, Felice, Maebell, Orene, Cleone, Lahoma, Rosaria, Idamae, Lavelle, Michelina, Victory, Haruko Amerigo, Gennaro, Hymen, Melbourne, Geno, Gilmore, Saverio, Arvo, Berlin, Gerhardt, Hughes, Tatsuo, Orvin, Foch, Laddie, Metro, Therman

1920s

Girl Names, 1920-29 Boy Names, 1920-29
Arlyne, Venice, Vernelle, Enriqueta, Lorrayne, Ailene, Illa, Kazuko, Felicitas, Joline, Sydell Harden, Shoji, Fidencio

1930s

Girl Names, 1930-39 Boy Names, 1930-39
Charlsie, Belia, Thomasina, Monna, Nira, Marcelina, Darlyne, Shirleyann, Vernetta, Larae, Jonell, Noreta, Noretta, Shelvie, Helaine, Dotty, Karel Derl, Darl, Orlin, Marland, Darwyn, Delwin, Harlon, Ronal

1940s

Girl Names, 1940-49 Boy Names, 1940-49
Phyliss, Jerrilyn, Carlyn, Rozanne, Michaele, Lyndia, Regena, Shirleen Wendel, Wilkie, Eusebio, Lucky, Cornel

1950s

Girl Names, 1950-59 Boy Names, 1950-59
Rhona, Sharleen, Debera, Ellyn, Jacqulyn, Pandora, Doretta, Denese, Valinda, Debroah, Jeryl, Melodee, Sheilah, Sheryll, Gaylene, Kathey, Nilda, Lanita, Perri, Tambra, Tari Danniel, Deryl, Erasmo, Mikeal, Kennard, Rahn, Ricci, Kem

1960s

Girl Names, 1960-69 Boy Names, 1960-69
Jeanmarie, Daneen, Denine, Djuana, Djuna, Caprice, Denita, Inger, Sonji, Sunday, Tatia, Wende, Melissia, Cinnamon Dwyane, Tal, Destry, Anthoney, Jemal

1970s

Girl Names, 1970-79 Boy Names, 1970-79
Dyan, Tisa, Treena, Camisha, Keena, Brande, Tamisha, Pepper, Chaka, Shandra, Torie, Corie, Kamilah, Shawnna, Shawnte, Ariane, Kindra, Somer, Sharee Abelardo, Diallo, Jabbar, Mauro, Toma, Kareen, Dimitrios, Hakim, Jerimy, Torry, Amin, Demetric, Kinte, Kunta, Shalon, Hasan

1980s

Girl Names, 1980-89 Boy Names, 1980-89
Renada, Tai, Evita, Joi, Latoyia, Martine, Nereida, Tashina, Cristen, Jenilee, Tenika, Dwan, Grisel, Shenna, Teela, Shira, Violeta, Britta, Cherrelle, Kyrie, Sable, Shardae, Sharde, Sharday, Shatara, Diandra, Grecia, Jalissa, Taja, Alexandr, Audriana, Audrianna, Brittnay, Christin, Elizabet, Katherin, Stephani Horacio, Adalberto, Marchello, Hung, Huy, Trumaine, Tavaris, Cordaro, Joseluis, Brantley, Geraldo, Christop, Alexande

1990s

Girl Names, 1990-99 Boy Names, 1990-99
Alannah, Kanesha, Ieshia, Miesha, Miriah, Shaquana, Tiesha, Brianda, Shaniece, Shawnee, Coraima, Crysta, Deyanira, Jasmyne, Kalene, Kaylene, Shannen, Adilene, Clarisa, Meranda, Nohely, Iridian, Keanna, Daijah, Jaycie, Yamilex, Baylie, Julisa, Micayla, Yulisa, Yulissa, Shae, Kyara, Tatyanna Mykel, Dijon, Keifer, Colter, Davonta, Devaughn, Khari, Shyheim, Tyrin, Damarcus, Dustyn, Rashaan, Keion, Raquan, Coleton, Jajuan, Keandre, Kenan, Christion, Jacquez, Jelani, Miguelangel, Tavian, Tyrik, Arman, Tyreese, Tyreke

2000s (so far)

Girl Names, 2000-05 Boy Names, 2000-05
Dariana, Maiya, Neha, Yamilet, Beyonce, Dafne, Keila, Mikaila, Nallely, Nayely, Taina, Kiya, Rianna, Arly, Karyme, Gwyneth, Heidy, Treasure, Anneliese, Arleth, Jolette, Mikalah, Montserrat Dayne, Daunte, Jaheem, Jaquez, Lisandro, Luc, Osbaldo, Yousef, Ajay, Jahir, Mordechai, Andon, Jayvon, Koda, Trenten, Adin, Damari, Makhi

P.S. Here’s a list of the two-hit wonder names in the top 1,000.