Find your ancestors in Enhanced Genealogical Data from Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

What can these records tell me?

Every record will have a brief transcript and an image of a the full entry. In the transcript you will find the following details:

  • Name
  • Birth year
  • Status
  • Reference person

The reference person is the primary person named in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. The status describes their relationship to the primary individual. For example, John Bell is the father-in-law of John Trotter Brockett.

The image will provide you with all the genealogical details. You will discover the family history of individuals listed in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

Discover more about these records

The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (ODNB) was first printed in 1885, and it is the national record of women and men who have shaped British history. The current edition features the biographies of over 54,000 individuals. The ODNB primarily offers biographical insights, but not detailed genealogical information. Birth, marriage, and death dates were often imprecise, and family details were sparse. Genealogist Cliff Webb has enhanced over 1,000 post-1800 ODNB entries with genealogical data, including precise dates and family connections. This expanded information is accessible via Findmypast, enabling researchers to uncover familial links to ODNB entrants that may remain undiscovered. Ongoing updates and future supplements ensure a growing resource for family history enthusiasts.

History of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography:

  • 1882: Commencement of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (ODNB) project.
  • 1900: Completing the first edition in 63 volumes, featuring around 30,000 biographies.
  • Supplements: Continuous addition of biographies, encompassing deaths, omissions, and global contributions.
  • 1990s: Initiation of a new edition, expanding coverage to the 20th century, sports, entertainment, and business.
  • 2004: Publication of the new edition with nearly 55,000 biographies.