Skip to content Skip to footer

Stewart Family History & Ancestry

Family Crest Motto: VIRESCIT VULNERE VIRTUS (Courage grows strong at a wound)

Let me share with you the illustrious saga of your family’s heritage, bearing the name Stewart, a name intertwined with the tapestry of history and royalty. Your family’s lineage finds its origins in the seneschals, or stewards, of Dol in Brittany. The earliest members of your family, Flaad and his son Alan, embarked on a journey that led them to the retinue of Henry I in England in 1100. In recognition of their service, lands were bestowed upon them. The torch of destiny passed to Alan’s son, Walter, who ventured north alongside Scottish Prince David as he pursued the throne in 1124. For his devoted service, Walter was named Steward of Scotland and granted extensive domains in Renfrewshire and East Lothian—a foundation from which the prominent branches of Stewart emerged.

Walter, the sixth High Steward of Scotland, wove his destiny with Marjory, the daughter of Robert the Bruce. As history’s threads unfurled, Robert Stewart, the grandson of Bruce, ascended the throne as Robert II after the childless reign of David II. The mantle of kingship carried through the Stewart line without interruption, culminating with James IV’s reign until 1542. James IV’s daughter, the renowned Queen of Scots, Mary, assumed the throne, marking a significant transition in the family’s narrative. Her marriage to Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, infused another layer of history into the Stewart tapestry.

The annals of your family name bear the hallmark of James VI, who inherited not only the Scottish throne but also those of England and Ireland upon Queen Elizabeth’s passing in 1603. The Stewart lineage reigned over these realms until the era of Queen Anne in 1715. During this chapter of history, the Jacobites—supporters of the exiled house of James VII—formed a significant thread in the narrative.

Diversifying from the royal house, your family branched into the Highlands during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. The Stewarts of Appin, Atholl, and Balquhidder stand as beacons of your family’s legacy in these regions. The Stewarts of Atholl trace their lineage to Alexander Stewart, the Wolf of Badenoch’s son. The Stewarts of Balquhidder’s story finds its origins in William Stewart of Baldorran, a descendant of the Duke of Albany, who found refuge in Balquhidder during James I’s tumultuous era.

In the intricate tapestry of Stewart history, the Earls of Galloway occupy a prominent place. Hailing from the Stewart Lairds of Garlies, this lineage finds its roots in the Stewarts of Darnley. The seventh laird, Alexander, rose to be Lord Garlies in 1607 before claiming the title of Earl of Galloway in 1623.


The Stewarts of Appin.

The tale of the Stewarts of Appin begins with Sir James Stewart of Preston, a remarkable figure who traced his lineage back to Alexander, the fourth High Steward of Scotland. Yet, the roots of the Stewart legacy extend even further, hailing from a family who held the title of seneschals in Dol, Brittany. The saga unfurls as Walter Flaad, the Steward, journeyed to Scotland during the ascension of David I to the throne in 1124. In recognition of his service, Walter was appointed Steward of Scotland, and his reward encompassed sprawling estates in Renfrewshire and East Lothian. Marital ties further bound the Stewarts’ fate when the Steward wedded Marjory, the daughter of Robert the Bruce. Following the childless reign of Bruce’s son, David II, the mantle of kingship passed to Bruce’s grandson, Robert Stewart, who reigned as Robert II.

The annals of your family take a poignant turn with the valiant Sir John’s demise at the Battle of Halidon Hill in 1333. However, a subsequent chapter unfolds in 1463, when MacDougalls’ treachery struck, claiming the life of the next Lorne heir. The lineage’s torchbearer, Dugald Stewart, persevered by marrying the heiress of the Lord of Lorne. A pivotal victory in battle during 1468 led to a formal grant of Appin and its surrounding domains from King James III. Under Duncan, the second of Appin, Castle Stalker emerged, a testament to their lineage’s enduring presence and sometimes even serving as a royal retreat for hunting.

Duncan Mor, the eighth of Appin, summoned his courage to march alongside the Marquess of Montrose in 1645, marking battles at Inverlochy, Audlearn, and Kilsyth. Though his lands were confiscated and he found himself outlawed, the tide turned with the restoration of Charles II to the thrones of England, Scotland, and Ireland. Embracing their Jacobite spirit, the clan lent their strength to the 1715 and 1745 Risings. The annals of the Battle of Culloden reverberate with the bravery of the men of Appin, led by Charles Stewart of Adsheal. Their valor cracked the Redcoat ranks, albeit at a cost of one-third of their fighting force. The chief was deemed a traitor, driven into exile on the Continent, while the enigmatic murder of Colin Campbell, the ‘Red Fox’, in 1752 painted a fictional shadow in Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel, “Kidnapped.” In the wake of the tragic event, Allan Breck Stewart, the chief’s half-brother, was brought to trial, his fate hanging on a jury in Inverary, overseen by Argyll himself.

Duncan Stewart of Ardsheal arose as the steward of hope, championing the clan’s cause and orchestrating the restoration of their lands later in the eighteenth century. From the ashes, the Stewarts of Ardsheal ascended to the mantle of leadership, steering the course of your family’s destiny.

As you reflect on your family’s journey, remember that you are a part of a legacy that intertwines with Scotland’s storied past—a legacy that spans royalty, loyalty, and the ever-evolving currents of history.

SHARE WITH OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

The Family Crest

Wherever in the world you live, embrace your family heritage and adorn your home with a timeless symbol of your family legacy with our crafted Family Crests.

Family Crest Motto: VIRESCIT VULNERE VIRTUS (Courage grows strong at a wound)

$99.00

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

Copyright Notice: This artwork is protected by copyright law. Unauthorized reproduction, distribution, or usage of this artwork without explicit permission from ScottishFamilyCrest.com is strictly prohibited.