This famous clan surname is regarded as the royal name of Scotland. It is however arguably of Olde English pre 7th century origins as it derives from the ancient word "stigweard", the later steward, a compound of "stig" meaning household, and "weard", a guardian. As such it was the status and title used by an officer who controlled the domestic affairs of a royal or noble household. In Scotland after the 12th century it took on a meaning of even greater importance, and described the Steward of Scotland, the highest post in the kingdom, below that of the monarch. The Scottish royal family surname of Stuart or Stewart, the spellings have and continue to vary over the centuries, originated from their holding the hereditary office of High Steward over several centuries from about 1157. In so far that the royal family of Stewart family originally had a surname it was the French "Dapifer", the family of that name having come from Brittany, in Northern France after the conquest of England in 1066. King Robert 11nd, 1371 - 1392, was the first "Steward" to hold the crown of Scotland. The earliest recordings of the surname include Nicholas Staward of Somerset in the Hundred Rolls of 1273, and William le Fiz Stywarde of Berwick in 1296. The first recorded spelling of the family name is believed to be that of Rogere se Stiwerd. This was dated circa 1100, in the "Old English Byname Register". Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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