This is an Anglo-Saxon occupational surname of both Scottish and English origin. It derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century "stigweard", the Middle English (1200 - 1500) "stiward", being a compound of "stig", household, and "weard" guardian; the term was generally used to mean "an officer controlling the domestic affairs of a household", used especially of the Royal Household. After the Norman Conquest of 1066 it was adopted as the native equivalent of the French "seneschal", for the steward or manager of an estate or manor. The Scottish office of Lord High Steward fell to the Crown on the accession of Robert the Steward as Robert 11, whence the name of the Royal House of Stuart. The christening of Alice Steward was recorded at St. Mary's, Whitechapel, Stepney, in London, on October 10th 1568. One William Steward was an early emigrant to the New World colonies, leaving London on the "Expedition" in November 1635, bound for the Barbadoes. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Roger Stiwerd, which was dated 1130, in the "Pipe Rolls of Derbyshire", during the reign of King Henry 1, known as "The Lion of Justice", 1100 - 1135. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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