Modern baby names can lead to some very, shall we say, interesting choices. Sure, it's great to be edgy and push the envelope, but trends also tend to come and go — and baby names are no exception. Something that seems super-hip now can later become... the bad kind of standout. Sometimes, it's nice to just rely on the classics.

So we thumbed through the history books and gathered up names from the Victorian era to the Roaring '20s to the Rockin' '50s. Elegant and timeless, these are names you're not going to forget anytime soon.

More: Middle Names for Girls That Are the Perfect Complement to Her First

Victorian-chic baby names

According to the Social Security Administration, these were the most popular baby names of the 1880s.

Top baby boy names of the 1880s

  1. John
  2. William
  3. James
  4. George
  5. Charles
  6. Frank
  7. Joseph
  8. Henry
  9. Robert
  10. Thomas
  11. Edward
  12. Harry
  13. Walter
  14. Arthur
  15. Fred
  16. Albert
  17. Samuel
  18. Clarence
  19. Louis
  20. David

Top baby girl names of the 1880s

  1. Mary
  2. Anna
  3. Emma
  4. Elizabeth
  5. Margaret
  6. Minnie
  7. Ida
  8. Bertha
  9. Clara
  10. Alice
  11. Annie
  12. Florence
  13. Bessie
  14. Grace
  15. Ethel
  16. Sarah
  17. Ella
  18. Martha
  19. Nellie
  20. Mabel

More: Baby Names From the Roaring '20s

A version of this article was originally published in February 2016.

Baby names of the Roaring '20s

Image: Dominik Pabis/Getty Images

They didn't call it the Roaring '20s for nothing. In the 1920s, speakeasies were hot, and flappers broke out of the conventional molds for women. The fashions were iconic (and many are still in fashion today — hi, bobbed hair!). And the names? Well, they were pretty and perfect. According to the SSA, these baby names were most popular in the 1920s.

More: These Strong Boy Names All Have Great Meanings He Can Be Proud Of

Top baby boy names of the 1920s

  1. Robert
  2. John
  3. James
  4. William
  5. Charles
  6. George
  7. Joseph
  8. Richard
  9. Edward
  10. Donald
  11. Thomas
  12. Frank
  13. Harold
  14. Paul
  15. Raymond
  16. Walter
  17. Jack
  18. Henry
  19. Kenneth
  20. Arthur

Top baby girl names of the 1920s

  1. Mary
  2. Dorothy
  3. Helen
  4. Betty
  5. Margaret
  6. Ruth
  7. Virginia
  8. Doris
  9. Mildred
  10. Frances
  11. Elizabeth
  12. Evelyn
  13. Anna
  14. Marie
  15. Alice
  16. Jean
  17. Shirley
  18. Barbara
  19. Irene
  20. Marjorie

Next: Baby boomer names

World War II baby names from the 1940s

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With a war abroad for half the 1940s, times were tough and families were torn apart. But when soldiers returned from war, the "baby boom" began, with births skyrocketing. These were the most popular baby names in the 1940s according to the SSA.

Top baby boys names of the 1940s

  1. James
  2. Robert
  3. John
  4. William
  5. Richard
  6. David
  7. Charles
  8. Thomas
  9. Michael
  10. Ronald
  11. Larry
  12. Donald
  13. Joseph
  14. Gary
  15. George
  16. Kenneth
  17. Paul
  18. Edward
  19. Jerry
  20. Dennis

Top baby girls names of the 1940s

  1. Mary
  2. Linda
  3. Barbara
  4. Patricia
  5. Carol
  6. Sandra
  7. Nancy
  8. Sharon
  9. Judith
  10. Susan
  11. Betty
  12. Carolyn
  13. Margaret
  14. Shirley
  15. Judy
  16. Karen
  17. Donna
  18. Kathleen
  19. Joyce
  20. Dorothy

Next: Baby names from the 1950s

Rockabilly baby names from the 1950s

Image: Andrew Rich/Getty Images

In the 1950s, everything started to change, including music. "Rockabilly" music was an early form of rock and roll, and its stars — such as Elvis Presley — led the pop music scene in a new direction. These were the hot names of the era according to the SSA.

Top baby boy names of the 1950s

  1. James
  2. Michael
  3. Robert
  4. John
  5. David
  6. William
  7. Richard
  8. Thomas
  9. Mark
  10. Charles
  11. Steven
  12. Gary
  13. Joseph
  14. Donald
  15. Ronald
  16. Kenneth
  17. Paul
  18. Larry
  19. Daniel
  20. Stephen

Top baby girl names of the 1950s

  1. Mary
  2. Linda
  3. Patricia
  4. Susan
  5. Deborah
  6. Barbara
  7. Debra
  8. Karen
  9. Nancy
  10. Donna
  11. Cynthia
  12. Sandra
  13. Pamela
  14. Sharon
  15. Kathleen
  16. Carol
  17. Diane
  18. Brenda
  19. Cheryl
  20. Janet

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