My grandfather, Albert Victor Whitty, came from London. His father was Irish, but he was born in Islington, to John and Annie Elizabeth Whitty. The family also had three other children John, Annie Elizabeth and George, the youngest. My grandfather was the third child.
My great-grandfather, John, was a policeman, but supposedly was the eldest son of a family of peers in Ireland. Educated as gentlemen, he and his brothers had no practical skills and he became a policman to support the family. He helped to educate his brothers and made certain that his children were educated so they could make their way in life.
My grandfather became an engineer and lived in South American for 15-20 years before retiring back to England and then to Wales, where my grandmother originated. He lost contact with his sister and brother John because he was out of the country for so long. I know that John had a son who had a genetic spinal problem, but beyond that I don't know what happened to my great-uncle John or my great-aunt Annie Elizabeth. George Whitty, the youngest son, died in 1918 of Spanish influenza while serving in the British army.
My grandfather told me long ago that anyone by the name of Whitty was related, and that Dame May Whitty was his aunt. You probably know that Dame May was a stage actor who appeared in many Hitchcock movies in the 30s and 40s, including Mrs. Miniver and The Lady Vanishes. She was born Mary Louise Whitty in Liverpool, the typical place for Irish families to land in England, and then moved to London about the time my grandfather's family probably did. My great-grandfather may also have lived in Dorset. I can't verify the relationship with Dame May, but would love to.
I admit this all has the sound of a great and wonderful Irish tale - with the movie star and the noble policeman - but I'd love to verify or dispel it.
Does any of it sound familiar to any of you?
Thanks to you all. It's great to see so many people with a name we considered to be unique.