Rochester : Population 1670 - 1720
The earliest reference to Rochester in the parish records relates to 1675 when Mary Hall, a widow of Rochester, was buried (EPR, 7). The Halls were still the predominant element in the population at Rochester, Nether Rochester and Dykehead at the turn of the 17th century, comprising 10 out of the 12 individuals recorded for Rochester proper between 1672-1720, but two other names, Jane Hedley and Ann Wanlas, also appear (EPR, 13, 17). There is more variety at Hillock and Petty Knowes.
Rochester hamlet still seems to have been the largest settlement, though the parish registers may through imprecision slightly overstate population there relative to the neighbouring farms (Nether Rochester: 4; Petty Knowes: 5/6; Dykehead: 5/8; Hillock: 7).
These totals represent the number of individuals resident over a period of 38 years and not all were resident at any one time. However, some people may have gone unrecorded which would tend to compensate partially. Analysis of the registers points towards the existence of at least two households at Rochester, with other individuals perhaps resident as indentured labour, one household each at Nether Rochester and Dykehead, two at Hillock and one or perhaps occasionally two at Petty Knowes.