Gatto History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Clan Chattan or ' Clan of the Cats' was a powerful confederation of Scottish clans united in the year 1609. Originally composed of the Mackintoshes, Davidsons, Macphersons, MacGillivrays and MacBeans, it was later strengthened by the addition of the Farquharsons and other smaller clans that joined for protection. All these clans share the same Clan Crest and Motto, but have an individual Coat of Arms. Gillechattan Mor is claimed to have been the clan's first chief.

Early Origins of the Gatto family

The surname Gatto was first found in on the lands of Chatto in Roxburghshire came a family bearing this as a surname. But records also reveal that the Chattan Clan originated in Warwickshire where they were recorded at Bromwich with manor and estates in that shire. They were originally of Chatou in Normandy. They moved northward at 1150 at the invitation of David, Earl of Huntingdon, and were granted lands on the Kale Water in the parish of Hounan, Roxburghshire, which they named Chatto. One of the first notables on record was Alexander Chatto, Constable of Roxburgh. Sir Adam Chatto rendered homage to King Edward I of England during the latter's brief conquest of Scotland in 1296, as did William and Robert Chatto. A later Sir Adam Chatto of Kelso was Sub Prior in 1531, and Richard Chatto was Sub Prior of Melrose in 1534. The Chattos family intermarried with the two distinguished Northumbrian families of Percy and Potts, and became involved in border warfare.

Early History of the Gatto family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gatto research. Another 112 words (8 lines of text) covering the year 1672 is included under the topic Early Gatto History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gatto Spelling Variations

Before the printing press standardized spelling in the last few hundred years, no general rules existed in the English language. Spelling variations in Scottish names from the Middle Ages are common even within a single document. Gatto has been spelled Chatto, Chattoo, Chato, Chatoo, Katto, Cato, Schatto, Shatto, Chattow, Chattone and many more.

Early Notables of the Gatto family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Gatto Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Gatto migration to the United States +

For Scottish immigrants, the great expense of travel to North America did not seem such a problem in those unstable times. Acres of land awaited them and many got the chance to fight for their freedom in the American War of Independence. These Scots and their ancestors went on to play important roles in the forging of the great nations of the United States and Canada. Among them:

Gatto Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Domenico Gatto, who arrived at Ellis Island, New York in 1892
  • Paolo Gatto, who arrived at Ellis Island, New York in 1892
  • Agostino Gatto, aged 32, who immigrated to the United States from Otiberi, in 1898
Gatto Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Alessandro Gatto, aged 5, who immigrated to the United States from Montecovoino, Italy, in 1905
  • Agate Gatto, aged 37, who landed in America from Palermo, in 1906
  • Agostino Gatto, aged 24, who immigrated to America from Cermini, Sicily, in 1910
  • Agastino Gatto, aged 25, who settled in America from Borhonaseo, Italy, in 1910
  • Albina Gatto, aged 7, who landed in America from Bovzonona, Italy, in 1914
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Gatto (post 1700) +

  • Michael Anthony "Mike" Gatto (b. 1974), American politician, Member of the California State Assembly (2010-2016)
  • Anthony Gatto (b. 1973), born Anthony Commarota, an American juggler who began performing in Las Vegas at the age of ten; he holds several juggling world records
  • John Taylor Gatto (1935-2018), American school teacher of 30 years, and author of several books on education
  • Victor Emmanuel "Vic" Gatto (b. 1947), former American football player and coach
  • Anthony Gatto, American composer of music for theater, dance, film, opera, and concert music
  • Carl Gatto, American Republican member of the Alaska House of Representatives
  • Joseph Gatto, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from California, 2004 [1]
  • Alfonso Gatto (1909-1976), Italian author, one of the foremost Italian poets of the 20th century
  • Salvatore Gatto (b. 1984), Italian racing driver
  • Lorenzo Gatto (b. 1986), Belgian violinist and recording artist
  • ... (Another 3 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


The Gatto Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Omnibus amicus
Motto Translation: A friend to everyone.


  1. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 3) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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