The Commonwealth Period - Birth, marriage and death records
In 1653 for a period of seven years the system of recording the above events changed. The Parish elected a local person who could read and write to be the 'Parish Register' [sic]. He was usually an honest literate person of note in the Parish who was paid one shilling for the job. Births tended to be recorded to the full, including the births of miscarried children. There were no marriages by Licence, and Banns were not read. Marriages were carried out after a declaration three times in a public place, by a Justice of the Peace or an approved Priest. Some of the restored Priests in the 1660's destroyed the Commonwealth Registers.
This was a seventeenth century fuel tax of sorts. From 1662 to 1689 there was a Tax on Hearths. The records by Parish and County are in the The National Archives, but some of these have been copied onto microfilm and are available in the local County Record Office. The tax was paid usually by the occupier or in cases where the house was vacant by the owner, 2 shillings per hearth in equal payments at Ladyday and Michaelmas. The poor with less than two hearths were exempted, though in some Parishes they were recorded. Names can be given twice or more and widows were not allowed a recorded Christian name.
Royalist Composition Records
Short of money in the 1640's the Government set out to raise money for the payment of the Scottish army amongst other things. Parliament conceived the idea of making the Royalists or Delinquents Compound for their estates. The Committee at Goldsmiths' Hall was set up to do this. Estates were compounded for two years value before the war, apart from those estates not worth £200. Any attempt to conceal value was punished severely. The records exist in 269 volumes. The Compounder had to prove to the Committee that they had taken the National Covenant before some approved Minister and to have signed the Negative Oath. The officials on the Committee would then assess the fine, which was recorded in the minutes. A moiety of the the fine was to be paid at once and time allowed to the compounder to pay the balance, under threat of sequestration. Some of these records have been published.
Heraldic Visitation Records
A record of many families who claimed to have a Coat of Arms, lesser gentry or higher. I would suggest that with any family that had risen to the rank of yeoman it might be worth checking the Sixteenth and Seventeenth century Visitation records in the Harleian Society Publications (County by County). Relationships with better off families that left Wills might be quite useful in developing the picture of the family.
In 1641 the Long Parliament took an oath to oppose 'plots and conspiracies to subvert the fundamental laws of the Kingdom and to introduce Arbitrarie and Tyrannical Government' and invited all males over 18 to sign and most did. The records are maintained in the House of Lords Archives but are far from complete.