Where did the name Gasparilla come from? How did it originate?

The word GASPARILLA is a manufactured word originating from the existing Pirate Legend of Jose Gaspar.

Jose Gaspar was a legendary Spanish Pirate who "lived" and reportedly operated until the 1820's. His "home port" was in Southwest Florida during the early-mid 1800's. Whether real or imagined, Jose Gaspar made such an impact in the region that the area is now called Gasparilla Island.

Gaspar reportedly died in 1821 after plunging himself into the waters of the Gulf of Mexico to avoid capture following a battle at sea. It is rumored that his treasure and some of his victims remain buried on Gasparilla Island.


How did the name GASPAR become the word GASPARILLA?

In those days, (1800's), the term/word "Flotilla" was a word commonly used to define a certain entity's ship or group of ships. So, Jose Gaspar's ship was known and referred to as GASPARILLA (Gaspar's Flotilla) as a means of identification.

It was common in the region for Jose Gaspar to himself be called Gasparilla or Jose Gasparilla.

.Jose Gaspar's ship was actually NOT named the Gasparilla. Rather, it was the Florablanca.