There are an inordinate number of men called Brenton in Adelaide, Australia. Brenton was in the top 100 baby names in South Australia in every year but one between 1944 and 1988. Since 1944, 3,325 South Australian babies have been named Brenton. The name is very common elsewhere in Australia. In the U.S., the name peaked in popularity in 1984. Why was Brenton so popular in the 1980s? This article at ABC News explains some of the reasons why:
No doubt the popularity of the name Brenton interstate and in the U.S. is down to the paddleboat TV drama All the Rivers Run, which starred John Waters as captain Brenton Edwards and Sigrid Thornton as Philadelphia Gordon. Brenton “is very clearly a Cornish name”, and a large number of Cornish people emigrated to South Australia in the 1840s because of a famine in Cornwall and a copper mining boom in towns such as Burra, Kapunda, and Moonta. Brenton is often a middle name also, after a boy’s mother’s maiden name. In South Australia, there were — and still are — a lot more people with the last name Brenton than interstate, at least per capita.