Since I cannot claim the honour of belonging to the distinguished family of 'CHITTY OF LONDON', some explanation of my compiling this account may be necessary.
Over many years, I have corresponded with several of its representatives, especially two fellow-members of the Society of Genealogists - both now dead - the Rev. Christopher CHITTY and Lt.Col. A.A.E. MERLOTT-CHITTY (some of whose contributions I shall acknowledge with the initials 'CC' and 'M-C'), as well as the late Herbert, F.S.A., Sir Charles William, the Rev. W.H., and others. 'M-C' had a collection of 18th century family letters, 'CC' had Herbert's large collection of genealogical and archaeological notebooks, and Sir Charles William had a diary (and possibly also letters) written by the Miss Mary who died in 1791.
Many details in the history, not supported by references to Parish Registers, Wills, and other usual sources, must originate from these family documents. K.P. CHITTY of Corbridge, Northumberland, formerly a barrister though not a member of this particular family, has contributed items from the Guildhall Library, etc.
'M-C' and 'CC' were fourth and fifth generation descendants of their common ancestor; so their heirs must be even more remotely related; and, failing a common historical enthusiasm among them and Sir Charles William's heirs (as custodians of the diary), it seems unlikely that any one person will ever find a chance of studying all the original material.
Meanwhile, I have no doubt that I - 'a stranger' - know more of the genealogy and history of the family as a whole than anyone else now living, and it has seemed right to collect into a connected form all that I have discovered or been told.
The announcement in 1971 of the birth of a CHITTY led to my making contact with the father, Michael Colin (page 30 of this account), who had previously known little of his ancestry; and this in turn led to his doing much work on the Tompson CHITTY branch, which had been very little researched. I am happy to think that a by-product of this, perhaps, time-wasting hobby was to re-unite him with some long-lost kin.
Should this account be seen by anyone of CHITTY ancestry, but not a 'CHITTY OF LONDON', - may I mention that I have a considerable amount of information on other families of the name, and should be delighted to help them.
Erik Chitty (M.A., Cantab., Fellow of the Society of Genealogists,