Statistical Analyses

The purpose of this page is to provide a home for material which provides any sort of insight to wider Lovelock family considerations, allowing us, for instance, to set our ancestral families in the context of their times, through the analysis of on-line data. Suggestions for additional analyses are most welcome, and these can be submitted through the Lovelock Mailing list: (instructions for how to join the Mailing List can be found on the Mailing List page).


Adult deaths

Lovelock researchers have often remarked on their surprise at finding burials of Lovelocks recorded as being in their 70s or 80s as early as the 18th Century, as the general impression is that in those pre-National Health Service and pre-Public Sanitary Improvement days people almost always died 'young'. Recording the age at death did not become commonplace until pre-printed Burial Registers were introduced in 1813, so before then records of ages were very much at the whim of the incumbent officiating at the burial. Despite the introduction of registers in 1813 and the civil registration of deaths in 1837 the General Record Office's Index of Deaths in England and Wales only began to record the age at death in the entries from 1866 onwards, rather limiting what could easily be researched. However, an analysis of the Index entries of adult Lovelock deaths, that is those aged 21 or more at death, has been carried out for the period 1866 - 1966, and the average age at death for each year is presented here.The graph shows that at the start of the period the average age was fluctuating about the mid-50s, but 100 years later this had increased to about 70. Before trying to draw any particular conclusions from the data the reader is warned that the graph is based on the deaths of men and women named Lovelock, and therefore includes a proportion of the ladies who were not lucky enough to be born with the name, but were fortunate enough to acquire it later!

During 2016 the General Record Office introduced an Online Index of Deaths based on scans of their detailed records and so ages at death are now available for all Lovelocks dying between 1837 and 1865. The work to extract the data and add it to the above is very much a work in progress.

Infant deaths

As noted above the General Record Office's Index of Deaths in England and Wales only began to record the age at death in the entries from 1866 onwards. However, the 'GRO Online' facility that was launched in 2016, again as noted above, now provides ages at death for the period from July 1837 up to 1866, and although it unfortunately records the children whose ages were measured in weeks or months as if they were actually an equivalent number of years old this is only likely to marginally affect any conclusions drawn from the sum total of the data. This therefore provides us with an opportunity to consider the proportion of Lovelock deaths that were of infants - those aged up to 10 years old.

The results of this analysis for the period 1838 - 1966 are presented here. The graph shows that although the number of Lovelock deaths per year generally fluctuated between 15 and 40, the proportion which were of infant deaths was mostly alarmingly high at the beginning of the period, in line with national statistics. The general decline in the proportion of infant deaths began in the 1880s, as medical care facilities improved and public health provisions began to take effect, and since the 1930s it has generally been 10% or less of all Lovelock births in England and Wales. It was not until 1944 that the Index contained not a single Lovelock death within the year at age 10 or less, and within the period of the graph this achievement was only repeated in 1955, 1963 and 1966.

Compare that with the graph for the period 1967 to 2006 (the last year for which data was available when this exercise was carried out) which is presented here. The advances in medical and clinical care since the Second World War have made huge changes to the survival rates of young children, such that the average rate of Lovelock infant deaths over those 40 years is scarcely more than one per year, forming just over 3% of all Lovelock deaths.

Registered Births

The population of England and Wales has been steadily growing, probably since the sea first broke through to create The English Channel and to cut off the rest of Europe. Reasonably accurate figures for the total population only became available, however, when the regular Census was introduced in 1801. It was not until 1841, though, that names were recorded, and we can begin to get a proper sense of the number of Lovelocks or Lovelucks in the two countries. There is data on the distribution of the names elsewhere on the website, so this entry is concerned only with the number of Lovelock births registered between 1838 (the first full year in which registration was required) and 2006, and contained in the GRO Index, data which is presented here. Until the mid-1850s births averaged about 25 per year, but then there was a steady increase so that by the mid-1890s the average was running at a little below 60 per year. The absolute peak, in 1902, saw 64 Lovelocks registered, although as there were also 41 deaths in that year the net gain was rather more modest. There was then a steady and dramatic decrease through the years of the First World War, and the economically troubled times of the 1920s and 1930s, to a minimum in 1941, when the seriousness of the Second World War was becoming evident, of only 24 births. That in a year which saw 36 deaths. After 1941 numbers increased again, especially in the 'baby-boom' years after the war, but have continued in a rather erratic way. Taken over the whole period of 169 years the average is 42 registered births per year, so 42 is not just the answer to Life, The Universe and Everything!

Lovelock Wills

The data on Wills and Probate accessible through the 'General Sources' page includes a transcript of the Lovelock entries in the National Probate Calendars from 1850 to 1895, and data up to early 2016 is accessible through the 'Find a Will' facility at GOV.UK. If the number of Lovelock Wills per year is plotted the resulting chart is shown at the top here. The chart shows that up to 1943 most Lovelocks in England and Wales died intestate, but all that quite suddenly changed. Perhaps the War had some effect for there seems no other cause. It certainly seems unlikely that Lovelocks suddenly tapped a source of wealth which it was necessary to define disposal arrangements for! Although the pattern is rather erratic from 1943 onwards the underlying trend shows that the number of English and Welsh Lovelocks leaving Wills 'peaked' in the early 1980s, and in recent years has considerably reduced.

The second chart at the bottom has the data from the first graph (in blue) but superimposed on it (in yellow) is a graph of the percentage of those English and Welsh Lovelocks dying in each year who left a Will. This shows that the change beginning in 1943 resulted in an average of about 40% of Lovelocks leaving Wills, whereas previously it had scarcely ever been more than 10%. There is no data for this second graph from 2007 onwards as it is based on the Free BMD and Ancestry records, and they are incomplete or non-existent for Lovelock deaths from that point.

It is recognised that the percentages shown in the second chart are underestimates, in that the total number of deaths in each year will include minors (these days those under 18 and previously those under 21) who cannot make a legal Will. However, the main point of the presentation is to show the significant change that began in 1943.