David and Betsey’s eldest son (their second child) was Charles, baptised in 1807. Leaving his parents in Hartley Wintney, Charles moved first to North Waltham (1841 Census), and then to Chilcomb, just east of Winchester where Charles and his eldest son James are recorded as lime burners in the 1851 Census. Charles Harfield was still a Chilcomb lime-burner at the time of the 1861 Census, but his eldest sons, James and Charles (Jnr), had moved on by this time.
James and his wife Sarah (married at Chilcomb 4th December 1858) apparently moved initially to the East Meon area since it was there that their first son – David – was born according to later Census records. Charles (Jnr) and his wife Hannah (married at Chilcomb 24th December 1860) probably moved directly to Buriton.
Industrial developments in Buriton, the running of the first trains on the new railway line (1859) and the opening of the lime works soon afterwards, encouraged the family to converge at Buriton looking for new employment opportunities, Charles (Snr) and his two sons each pursuing the craft of lime burning learnt at Chilcomb. The exact date of their relocation is not known: in April 1861, the date of the Census that year, Charles (Snr) is still in Chilcomb and no Harfields are recorded in Buriton. (Neither James & Sarah nor Charles (Jnr) and Hannah have yet been located in the 1861 Census returns.)
The family had arrived in Buriton by the first half of the following year, 1862. On 28th May 1862 the first of many family events – the baptism of Charles and Hannah’s first child, Edward Charles – is recorded in the Buriton Primitive Methodist chapel records. The following May, James and Sarah’s second child (James (Jnr)) was also baptised into the Methodist rite at Buriton. In the meantime, on 29th November 1862, Charles (Snr) described as being “of Buriton” had died at the recorded age of 56 and had been buried in the churchyard at St Mary’s.
Whether or not Charles’s (Snr) wife, Mary Ann, ever lived at Buriton is not recorded. It is of course likely that she did but on her death in 1871 she was buried at Chilcomb, her address at the time being recorded as Winchester. Their eldest sons were now establishing large families of their own and were busy working in the Forder lime works.
Various sources now enable a picture of the family to be painted: the Census returns, the Parish Registers, the Records of the Primitive Methodist Circuit, and the notes on the parish recorded by John Wycliffe Gedge, Rector from 1886 to 1890.
The Census returns (1871-1891) record the family’s steady employment at the lime works, which was initially where James and Sarah and Charles and Hannah lived. The Forder family, owners of the lime works, were Methodists and it is no surprise, therefore, to discover at least some of the Harfields following the religious affiliations of their employers. Although James and Sarah and Charles and Hannah had all their offspring baptised in the Methodist chapel, all their grandchildren were baptised at St Mary’s. For all their regular appearance in the Methodist Circuit records, many members of the family were stalwarts of the Anglican community. Gedge recorded Harfields amongst both the bell-ringers and the choir, although the relationship was obviously not without its tensions. In March 1890, for reasons (frustratingly) unrecorded, David Harfield was “struck off” the list of choristers by the Rector. David (eldest son of James & Sarah) had been baptised a Methodist but clearly participated in the Anglican Church during his adult life. There is no indication that his dismissal from the choir was connected to any religious conversion back to the Methodist rite followed by his employers at the limeworks.