It is estimated that Laxton may have been home to 120 people at the time of the Domesday Book in 1086. The population was around 350 in 1635 and 425 in 1776. We know more about population after 1801, when the first census was taken. In 1801 the population of Laxton was said to be 573. In 1821 there were 655 people living there, but by 1851 the population had declined to 534 people.
The official returns of censuses in 1801, 1811, 1821 and 1831 do not give information about individual people. However, more detailed returns and abstracts, used to compile the official returns, can often be found in local collections. Document 1
is a page from the 1821 return, and Document 2
is an abstract drawn up in 1831.
The censuses after 1841 are very detailed and give information about individual people, their households and relationships to each other, their age, where they were born, and what occupation they had. Document 3 contains transcribed extracts from census returns relating to the Rose family. Census returns for Nottinghamshire are available on microform in the Manuscripts and Special Collections Reading Room at The University of Nottingham, and at Nottinghamshire Archives. They are also available online (for a fee) through The National Archives website.
Parish registers pre-date the census. Registers of baptisms and burials in Laxton date back to 1564, and the marriage registers go back to 1629. The original registers, and microform copies, are held at Nottinghamshire Archives. The International Genealogical Index (IGI), available online through the FamilySearch website, contains indexes of the registers dated 1600-1848. Document 4 contains some examples of entries from the baptism register for the years 1820-1822.
The registers can be used to determine how many people were born and died in any given period. The marriage registers from 1754 were signed or marked by the bride and groom. This can provide researchers with evidence about literacy rates. Marriage registers also state where the bride and groom were living. The husband often came from a neighbouring village such as Tuxford, Wellow, Ossington or Newstead, and this is evidence for population mobility.
Next page: Wealth and Status