The sir name Viator is extremely widespread in the area of South Louisiana particularly around New Iberia. However, contrary to popular belief, Viator is not a name of French origin; but Spanish. Most, if not all, of the Viators of South Louisiana can trace their ancestry to the family of Antonio Villatoro and Gertrude Del Prados.
Antonio Villatoro departed Malaga, Spain 13 July 1778 on the brig St. Joseph with his mother, Theresa Gomes, three sisters and a cousin, Francisco Villatoro. They arrived in New Orleans 15 November 1778. Also on the ship, was the family of Gonzalo De Prados, his wife Theresa Gusman and four children one of the children being Gertrude Severindin Del Prados. Antonio and Gertrude relocated to St. Martinvillle, Louisiana where they married. They perhaps knew each other in Spain or met on the ship. Nevertheless, they married and had eleven children.
After arriving in Acadia, the Spanish and Acadian French became neighbors and inter married between families. The name changed to Viator due to the French influence. Villatoro is correctly pronounced with the "ll" being silent (Vee-a-toro). Thus the name Viator was born. Antonio and his father-in-law are listed among the founding families of the city of New Iberia, Louisiana (New Spain). From this humble beginning, many Viators were born each generation having large families, some as many as twelve to fifteen children. Some of the Viators of New Iberia through time have become prominent people in the New Iberia area. One became mayor, another chief of Police, several were police officers, myself and my uncle included. Several were in public education. One became a school principal in the Parish.
At this point I have not determined the origin of the name Villatoro. However, the name indicates that it had something to do with the village of the bulls. Perhaps it refers to the people that lived in the village that raised bulls for breeding or for bull fighting. Or, perhaps the people that lived in that village were just full of bull.
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