From an article in the Autumn 2008 Athelington, Horham & Redlingfield News
Some years ago a local history group published details from the census returns for a group of parishes, including the villages of Horham, Hoxne, Laxfield, Stradbroke and Wilby.
Nesta Evans and Norah Coleman were two of the contributors to People Poverty and Protest which looked at migration to America, the poor laws, village occupations and education.
In 1841 civil registration started in the UK, with details of people's birthplaces, family details, place of residence and occupation. This system of census has continued and evolved, providing information which can help us trace villagers and relatives. Every ten years a detailed survey takes place. The most recent results available to the public are for 1901. In 2011 the results for the 1911 census will become available to all.
Back in 1881 Horham had a population of 339 living within an area of 1,433 acres.
Edward Frere was the Rector and Henry Plant lived at the Red House. Mr William Baldry was the landlord at the Green Dragon and also worked as the village wheelwright. Charles
Bayles was a blacksmith and Mrs Mary Ann Beecroft kept the village shop and was post mistress.
Mrs Lucy Muttick was the landlady at the Eight Bells and George Clarke was the village boot and shoe maker. Mr Thomas Parke was the farmer at Hall Farm and Augustus Robert Roe was the miller, at the open trestle post mill. Augustus Turner also had a shop within the village and Mrs Mary Ann Roe was the mistress at the National School, which had been erected in 1857, for 90 children - the average attendance in 1883 was 63 pupils.
George Whatling was the village carrier to Ipswich on Thursdays, by pony and cart. Other villagers were also employed within the parish and the surrounding villages. Travelling any distance was a difficult process and the nearest railway station was at Eye - five miles away.
At random I have selected a group of villagers from the parish listed in the 1881 census returns; you can obtain further details from the British Census on the internet.
Mary Ann Beecroft was born at Horham in 1824. She was a widow by the time of the census and her son Charles aged 25 farmed 25 acres, employing one man. They both lived at the post office and village shop.
Augustus Roe, the miller, had been born at Horham in 1853 and worked the mill with William Smith  who had been born at Laxfield. His wife Mary Ann Roe was employed as the school mistress and had been born in 1858 in Lincs. Augustus was the son of Robert Roe and his wife Mary Ann Button.
Many of you will remember old Mrs Roe, who lived in a bungalow near to the church, her husband was the miller at Horham. The post mill had an open trestle and stood on brick piers; it was first recorded in 1750 and was demolished in 1934, being one of the last working mills in Suffolk.
Thomas Parke farmed 148 acres with six men. He had been born in 1847 at Eye and was married to Rebecca  a native of Banham in Norfolk. Edward Gaymer Parke their son was born at Brome in 1872 and took his grandfather's surname as a second christian name. Parkes Farm still exists in Brome Street.
Rebecca was the daughter of cider maker William Gaymer and his wife Rebecca Page. Thomas and Rebecca also had a son William and two daughters Mary Alice and Katherine. Emma Abblet  of Wingfield and Emma Musk  of Stradbroke were employed as servants within the household and lived in.
Stephen Sparrow, aged 65, was an agricultural labourer and widower who lived with his sons Albert aged 18 and Arthur, 16. Many other villagers are recorded within the 1881 census and with a little bit of detective work connections can be made.