My own family records (wills etc.) go back to around 1800, so beyond the first census returns which are still useful for filling in the detail. The parish records are then the best source - Derbyshire County records office are helpful and beyond that the wills kept at Lichfield are good if difficult to read. That could get you back to the 1600's the more prominent (for good or bad) the individual the better the chances of their appearing in the records. Good Luck with your search and best wishes to my namesake.