Return to The Gurto Family
The true spelling of Peter Gurtos original surname appears to be lost in history. Many variations have surfaced -IACCURTO - IACURTA - YACURTA -LACURTO - IACCUITO - but no one in the family can say with absolute certainty whether any of these is correct. Nor do we know the meaning. The closest meaning I could find was "Son of Guido". We do know with certainty that the original spelling was discarded when Peter arrived in America from his home in Campobasso, Italy in 1915. Upon his arrival he was given the name GURTO. It is the name our family has always used and so it is only befitting that a family shield and crest should be designed for our unique name.
Since this article was written, we have since made contact with our Italian Relatives. We found that the Original Name is Iacurti.
THE WOOD - When I made my shield, I used new pine. NEW representing the newness of the name and PINE being the most common wood representing the humble beginnings of our family.
THE SHAPE - A standard shape was selected rather than a more elaborate design to represent the unpretentiousness of the family.
THE BORDER -The crest is bordered by the colors of Italy representing the birthplace of Peter and Mary and the Italian customs and traditions which are such a major part of our lives.
1894 - At the top of the crest is the number 1894 which is the year of Peters birth; the year the family was founded.
p & m - In the upper left and right corners are the lower case letters p & m. These letters stand for the Latin words Pater and Mater meaning father and mother - the foundation of all families. Coincidentally, these letters also stand for Peter and Mary, our familys patriarch and matriarch.
THE STRIPES - Below the names are three horizontal stripes, one red, one white and one blue representing The United States of America, the country Peter and Mary believed would offer them and their family the brightest future.
THE STARS - The 12 shining gold stars represent Peter and Marys 12 children. Standing next to them and shining just as brightly the 12 spouses are represented by the 12 silver stars.
THE LOCOMOTIVE - Represents Conneaut, a city built around its railroad industry. It is the place where all but three of the second and third generation Gurtos were born. The train also more specifically represents The Nickel Plate Road where Peter and two of his sons worked.
THE TWO SEVENS - Represents firstly the seventh day of the seventh month, Peter and Marys wedding anniversary. The sevens also represent the seventh day, Saturday by most calendars, so the two sevens also represent the second Saturday of the seventh month - the perennial date of the family reunion.
THE CROSS AND TWO HEARTS - The cross represents the faith of our family. There are two hearts, one being higher than the other. These represent our loved ones; those here on Earth and those already in Heaven. They also remind us that they will always have an important presence in the family.
THE GRAPES - The 32 grapes represent the 32 grandchildren of Peter and Mary. The grapes also remind us of the way Peter and Mary looked after and provided for their family - growing and preserving fruits and vegetables, baking bread, making wine. Peter and Mary truly epitomised fertility and self sufficiency.