The Family Today

The Reffell family has always been a small family. The graphs below have been derived from the UK birth, marriage and death registers from 1837 to 2005. Surprisingly they do not show any great increase in the family over the period covered, as can be seen from the blue trend lines. If allowance is made for the known lack of birth entries before 1874 (estimated to be up to 60%), the graphs are remarkably flat during a time when the world population went from around 1 billion to around 6.5 billion.

In the first five years of the 21st century there have been 27 births, 15 marriages and 19 deaths registered in England and Wales. Analysis of the death registers show how modern medical science has extended the average person’s life expectancy, and during 2005 we had our first certified centenarian death. The graphs of Reffell deaths below show that even as late as the third quarter of the 19th century, about a half of all children who were born did not reach their 10th birthday.

There has been a interesting change in first names over the last few decades, with the previously perennially popular ones such as John and Elizabeth being replaced by more ‘modern’ names. Also notable is the number of children now being born whose parents have not married.