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Surname Steuart - Meaning and Origin

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Steuart: What does the surname Steuart mean?

The surname Steuart is of Scottish origin and is derived from the Old English pre 7th Century "stiweard," composed of the elements "stig," meaning a house or household, and "weard," meaning guardian or protector. Thus, the original sense of the surname is "a steward," someone who manages the affairs of a household or estate, an important position in medieval Europe. The surname is particularly associated with the Royal House of Scotland. A branch of the family holding this name became the hereditary stewards of Scotland, serving under the Kings of Scotland during the 11th and 12th centuries. This ultimately led to them becoming the royal house, with the adoption of the spelling variant "Stewart" and "Stuart," the latter being used by Mary, Queen of Scots and her descendants based in France. Hence, while the exact spelling "Steuart" may be less frequent, it carries a historical meaning and sense of guardianship, responsibility, and high status.

Steuart: Where does the name Steuart come from?

The last name Steuart is most common today in the United Kingdom. It is most common in Scotland, particularly in the Southern Uplands. According to data collected from the U.K. Census of 2011, over one thousand households had the last name Steuart, with the majority residing in the south. Outside of the U.K., the last name Steuart is also found in Canada, the United States, South Africa, and Australia. It is believed to have originated with a Scottish family of Norman origin.

The majority of U.K. residents with the name Steuart are descended from Thomas Steuart, Baron Ochiltree, born in the late 12th century in Ayrshire, Scotland. This Thomas was a son of Sir John de Stewart, of Kyle, and is said to have been of Norman origin. In Ireland, the name is generally spelled as Stewart.

One of Thomas Steuart's descendants, Major General Robert Stewart (1717-1785), emigrated from Scotland to Nova Scotia in 1773, where he became a prominent military leader. Some of Stewart's descendants, bearing the surname if Steuart, later relocated to Louisiana and Mississippi, as well as other parts of the United States.

Today, there are Steuarts all over the world, but the name is mainly found in the U.K. and countries with ties to the U.K. Through dispersed migration, the Steuart family has left its mark on various parts of the world.

Variations of the surname Steuart

Steuart is an anglicized spelling of the surname Stiùbhart, a Scottish patronymic surname of Gaelic origin. The clan is thought to have descended from a Norse-Gaelic ancestor, Edzell, found in Angus during the 12th century. The variants of the surname Steuart include Stuart, Steward, Stewert, Steuard, Steuwart, Stewardry, Stewardy, Steu({e})ard, Stewertson, Stewartson, Steuardson, Stewartson, Steuartsone, and Stiubhard.

The spelling Steuart is more common in Scotland, while Stuart is generally used throughout other English-speaking countries including the United States. In Scotland, Steuart is sometimes found as a singular surname and Steward as a double-barreled form.

In North America, the spelling Steuart is rare, although it is fairly common in Nova Scotia where it replaces both Stuart and Stewart. In Ireland, the form Steuart predominates.

The most common variant of Steuart is often spelt as Stuart. Double-barrelled surnames of Steuart and Stuart includes Stewardry, Steuardson and Stewertson. In addition to the spelling Stewartson, the surname stands alone in an abridged form of Stefuardson.

In Scotland, Steuart is sometimes found as a singular surname and Steward as a double-barrelled form. Generally, this is the Scots variation of the name. So, if you have Steuart or Steward ancestry, it is likely that your family name originated in Scotland.

Famous people with the name Steuart

  • Diana M. Steuart: Known for her work with World Wide Fund for Nature in different positions ranging from Associate Director and former CEO of WWF-India.
  • James Sandilands Steuart: Scottish lawyer, politician and author most famous for writing “A System of Political Economy” and “A General View of the Political Situation of Europe”.
  • Robert Steuart: American banker and financier, credited with reviving the first Bank of the United States.
  • John Steuart Curry: American painter best known for his romanticized depictions of rural life in his native Kansas, as well as his larger, heroic works.
  • Sir George Steuart, 1st Baronet: British Member of Parliament as well as a major slave-owner during the Caribbean rum and sugar production period.
  • Andrew Steuart: British naval officer, notable for commanding the sailship ‘HMS Surprise’.
  • Sir Charles Steuart, 8th Baronet: British soldier and politician who served on both the Indian frontier and in the American Revolutionary War.
  • Fanny Steuart: Scottish art collector, poet and author.
  • Edmund Steuart: Scottish Plantation Owner and politician in the Caribbean.
  • Sir Walter Steuart, 3rd Baronet: Scottish land-owner, inventor and politician, who served as Sherriff of Elgin in Scotland.

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