East Yorkshire 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 60,000 men and women who died in or before 2014.

Kay Kendall

Of these 60,000 people, over 100 have close ties to East Yorkshire—through families, education, work or residence.

Here you’ll find some famous (and some less familiar) East Yorkshire faces, including the actress Kay Kendall (above) and (below) the jazz trumpeter Kenny Baker, the film director Ken Annakin, and the designer Charles Voysey. Then discover the ‘who and how’ in East Yorkshire by searching the ODNB for people by place.

William Empson Jane Ellen Harrison William Dodsworth

Charles Voysey John of Bridlington Charles Wilson

Kenny Baker Ken Annakin

Who and how? in East Yorkshire

(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 East Yorkshire people simply use the ‘place’ option on the People Search page. You can find people who were born, baptized, educated or resident in towns and villages of East Yorkshire (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 70 million words for places (e.g. the Wolds or Burton Agnes). For this use Text Search.

We also have more tips on using the ODNB for local and family history.

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 Diana, princess of Wales, George Orwell, John Lennon, and Bobby Moore.
  • Follow us on Twitterfor more historical figures in the news.
  • Don’t forget: the ODNB online is available free—anywhere, anytime—via East Yorkshire libraries: just type your library membership number in the box here.

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