This unusual name is chiefly found in the south eastern English counties of Surrey and Kent. The name derives from the Medieval English "chitte" meaning the young of an animal i.e. a cub or kitten and was originally given as a nickname to a favourite person. The surname is first recorded in the early half of the 14th century (see below). One Agnes Chittye and a John Chittie appear in the Calendar to Pleadings in the reign of Elizabeth 1 (1558-1603). On June 19th 1548 the christening of Alice Chitty daughter of Sarah Ann and Alfred Chitty is recorded in Wonersh, Surrey.Joseph Chitty (1776 - 1841), and his three sons were distinguished legal writers. In fact, all namebearers listed in the Dictionary of National Biography excelled in the legal field. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Chytte. which was dated 1327, in the "Records of the parish of Godalming", Surrey. during the reign of King Edward 111, known as "The Father of the Navy" 1327 - 1377. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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