1797 was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar).
- January 31 - Franz Schubert, Austrian pianist and composer
- February 15 -Henry Engelhard Steinway, German-American piano manufacturer
- March 22 - Wilhelm I, King of Prussia and German Emperor (d. 1888)
- March 27 - Alfred de Vigny, French author (d. 1863)
- May 18 - Frederick Augustus II of Saxony, (d. 1854)
- July 20 - Sir Paweł Edmund Strzelecki, Polish explorer and geologist (d. 1873)
- August 30 - Mary Wollstonecroft (later Mary Shelley), English writer
- October 3 - Leopold II, Grand Duke of Tuscany (d. 1870)
- November 14 - Sir Charles Lyell, British geologist.
- December 13 - Heinrich Heine, German poet (d. 1856)