The 1881 Census obviously acts as a reference point.
1801: The work of Martin Ecclestone with the International genealogical Index (IGI) provides another reference point for each English county. See Statistics and the IGI.
1837: Possible reference point using an extension of Donovan Murrell's method for estimating the current population:
That is, 4 225 estimated today less (8 000 births - 5 000 deaths) = 1 225 estimated alive in 1837.
Post 1837, name populations can be estimated by adding together the birth and death registrations, dividing by the total equivalent registrations, and multiplying by the national population.
Clive Essery has written a process which, taking the 1881 Census figures as a base, adjusts for each birth, death and marriage, to provide estimates for every year up to the present - as long as you have the GRO data:
And some interesting Excel graphs
See Clive Essery, Counting your population.
A further refinement would be to compare the birth rate of your name against that of the national crude birth rate.