Aberdeenshire Lives

The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography is the national record of people who’ve shaped British history, worldwide, from the Romans to the 21st century. The ODNB currently includes the life stories of 58,200 men and women who died in or before 2008.

Of these 58,200 people, nearly 1200 have close ties to Aberdeen & Aberdeenshire—through families, education, work or residence.

Lewis Grassic Gibbon 


Here you’ll find some famous (and perhaps less-well-known) Aberdeen & Aberdeenshire faces, including the writer Lewis Grassic Gibbon (above) & John Brown, servant to Queen Victoria (below).

Click on an image to read more. Then discover the 'who and how' in Aberdeen & Aberdeenshire by searching the ODNB for people by place.

George Reid Thomas Reid Thomas Edward James Gibbs

Henry Brunton John Brown Peter Hall Muriel Thompson

William Alexander Alexander Fraser Arthur Johnston Mary Sutherland

Who and how? in Aberdeen & Aberdeenshire

As well as looking for people by name, you can also search by place, for example:

(NB: You'll need to be logged into your library's subscription for these searches.)

How do I search?

Finding people in the Oxford DNB is easy.

To discover more Aberdeenshire people simply use the ‘place’ option on the People Search page. You can find people who were born, baptized, educated or resident in Aberdeenshire (or elsewhere), or who died and were buried here. Search by county, city, town, village, church, and even street.
you can also search the ODNB’s 67 million words for places (e.g. Balmoral). For this use Text Search.
We also have an online guide to Scottish people & places in the Oxford DNB.

What else does the Oxford DNB offer?

  • Free biography podcast: as well as 60, 000 life stories, the ODNB publishes a twice monthly biography podcast featuring some popular entries from the collection. There are now over 250 episodes in the archive. Recent highlights include Roald Dahl, George Orwell, John Lennon, and Nancy Astor.
  • Follow us on Twitter for more historical figures in the news.
  • Don’t forget: the ODNB online is available free—anywhere, anytime—via Aberdeenshire libraries: just type your library membership number in the box here.

> Read the Oxford DNB, free and at home, using your library's subscription
> More about the Oxford DNB