David Steward, the progenitor of the Steward family, came to America. He was born in Gauldry, a village in Fife, Scotland. During the Third English Civil Wars. Wars were fought between the supporters of the Parliament of England and supporters of the king of England. From the promises of King Charles ll, David fought for the Scottish struggle for the God-given freedom created when his forefathers signed the Arbroath Declaration on April 6, 1320.† At either the battle of Dunbar or Worcester, he was captured. British General Oliver Cromwell gave the officers a choice of dying by the sword or being exiled to the American colonies. David chose to be exiled to fight for freedom another day. He never lost dislike for the British, and this was passed down through the generations of Stewards as a legacy.
Four generations later Stephen Steward built the largest shipyard on Fords Creek at the head of the West River. He built ships for the Chesapeake Bay and Merchant Ships to carry goods to Europe and the Caribbean. When the Revolution started, he built freighters, warships and gunboats and launched expeditions on the Chesapeake Bay to fight the British, Tories, and Picaroons. Stephen was in full support of the new Maryland government and he immediately offered his services to the Council of Safety. Stephen’s shipyard served as Maryland’s Naval base and he was an agent for the Council of Safety and Congress. The shipyard was the only site the British attacked in Anne Arundel County, Maryland.
Stephen’s son, John “Jack” Steward, joined the Maryland Army, which was assigned to General Washington’s Continental Army that fought from the Battle of Brooklyn Heights to Yorktown, earning promotions from Lieutenant, Captain, Major to Lt. Colonel along the way. His exploits were “in the very teeth of death itself fighting with savage ferocity, and every step of a memorable challenge to death itself.” General Washington awarded Jack with a silver medal. This was one of only eleven medals given out during the war, which today would be equivalent to the Congressional Medal of Honor today.