Stewart (name)

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Family name
Meaning "household guardian"
Region of origin Scotland
Related names Stuart
Gender Masculine
Other names
Related names Stuart

Stewart is a Scottish surname (also used as a masculine given name) possibly of pre-7th century Old English origin, derived from stigeweard, the genitive prefix stige meaning "hall", and the suffix weard meaning "guardian" or "warden". An alternative spelling is Stuart. The progenitor of the Stewart family was Alan fitz Flaad, a Breton knight who settled in England after the Norman Conquest. His son, Walter fitz Alan, relocated to Scotland during the Anarchy, became the High Steward of Scotland,[1] hence the origin of the surname. Stewart is the 66th-most common surname in the United Kingdom.[2][3]

House of Stewart

One of the hereditary Stewart stewards, Walter Stewart, married Marjorie Bruce, daughter of King Robert I, and founded the royal House of Stuart (a French spelling), beginning with their son King Robert II. The House of Stewart was the longest serving royal dynasty of Scotland. In 1603, the Stewart King James VI of Scotland became King James I of England and Wales by his succession to Queen Elizabeth I. The Stewart dynasty ruled Scotland, England and Wales (with an interruption during Cromwell's Commonwealth after the English Civil War) until 1714, when Queen Anne died and the British Crown passed to the German Electors of Hanover.

The grandson of James II, Prince Charles Edward Stuart, led the last attempt to restore the Stewart dynasty to the British Crown in 1745-6 and became known to history as "Bonnie Prince Charlie". This attempted coup d'état ended in the slaughter of Charles' army at the Battle of Culloden in April, 1746.

Stewart peers

In addition to the Royal House of Stuart, various branches of the Stewart family became Scottish peers, at various times holding the Marquisate of Bute, the earldoms of Atholl, Mar, Moray, Angus, Galloway, as well as several Lordships of Parliament. Several families of Stewarts became Highland clans in their own right, including the Stewarts of Appin, the Stewarts of Ardvorlich the Stewarts of Atholl, the Stewarts of Garth.


Many Stewart emigrants from the lowlands of Scotland settled in the Irish Province of Ulster in the seventeenth century.[citation needed] Stewarts also emigrated from other parts of Scotland and settled throughout the rest of Ireland, all the way over to the west coast of Ireland in cities as far-west as Galway. The Stewarts left lasting families in Ireland, some modern-day Irish still claiming Stewart lineage.[citation needed]

People named Stewart


Given name

  • Stewart Copeland, American drummer, best known as the drummer in The Police
  • Stewart Granger, English-American actor, born James Stewart
  • Stewart Mills, Australian Rugby League player
  • Stewart Stevenson, SNP Member of the Scottish Parliament for Banffshire & Buchan Coast, and Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change

See also


  1. Barrow, G. W. S. "Stewart family". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/49411.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  2. "Stewart". Internet Surname Database.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> Retrieved 15 October 2014
  3. "Stewart Surname Meaning and Geographic Distribution".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> Retrieved 19 January 2014