Stewart Clan Family Crest | Skillshare Projects



Stewart Clan Family Crest


My mother has done a crazy amount of research into our family's ancestry. She’s even gone so far as to visit the church in Scotland where my great-great-great-grandfather was married. It’s then obvious that I would choose to design a crest for the Ottawa Valley Stewart clan - a bunch of generous, working-class people I’m glad to call my family.


According to records, it all began in Scotland. We’re Scottish through and through I’m told, even though there’s a bit of Irish in the mix. Apparently after being on the losing end of some battle names where changed for safety ... or more so pride. This was the thing to do back then I’m told.

My story today, however, begins in the 19th century in a small town at the entrance of the Scottish Highlands. In 1827, my great-great-great grandfather John Stewart (b. 1801) married my great-great-great grandmother Isabella McNiven (b. 1804) in Dunblane, Scotland.

Together they had 9 children (3 of which died as infants) including my great-great grandfather Peter (b. 1846). They lived a modest life as hand-loom weavers, but found their craft quickly replaced by industrialized plants in the south. However, for a small sum the British government at the time was offering 100 acres and chance at a new life in the New World. Alongside, farmers whose lands were purged by wealthy land barons during the much-publicized Highland Clearance, my family left for Upper Canada (Ontario) in 1849.

The New World

My family settled in Ramsayville, Ontatio minutes away from Bytowne (Ottawa) close to Glengarry County, an area of Canada where most of those escaping the Highland Clearance settled.

My great-great-great grandfather became a farmer and a stonemason - essentially whatever was necessary to build "the big house" while staying in the original log cabin the family had constructed upon arrival. When he came of age my great-great grandfather Peter married my great-great grandmother Margaret Lillico and had my great grandfather John A (my mother's grandpa!).

Sometime near the turn of the century my great-grandfather John A. married my great grandmother Emma Hueston (whom I am named after) and they had my grandfather Bertam (Bert) in 1910. In 1943 Bert married Edith Stewart, my grandmother, the family’s matriarch and had 6 children including my mother Carole in 1946. In 1973 my mother Carole, a nurse at CHEO, married my father Charles, a French Canadian musician from Cornwall. In 1979 they had me, Emily and then my sister, Jayne in 1980.


A traditional Stewart charge is an honourable ordinary. It has a white and blue checkered ‘fess’ - which is a broad horizontal stripe across the center of the field. It also includes a ‘tressure’ which is an inner border; however, given it is rather rare ... and usually reserved for the royal coat of arms, I’ve removed it. I have also removed the point at the bottom of the shield to give it a more modern style.


A laurel normally refers to wreathes made of bay leaves. Examples can be seen in classical architecture, greek mythology and crests or coat of arms as part of heraldry. As mentioned above my ancestors from Scotland were weavers. It is probable that they worked with wool as there was a mill in Dunblane where they lived at the time. However, they also likely worked with flax and jute to make linen and burlap. The laurels below are meant to be a representation of flax laurel.


In most traditional Stewart crests, the scroll element is considerably ornate. To modernize the scroll peaks, shadows, and exaggerated curls were removed. 


I asked my cousins what came to mind when they thought of our family matriarch - Edith, my mother’s mom. Without question it was her baking, which won various awards at the National Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. Even to this day my uncle Barry, a fireman, even competes there with his Angus cows as a hobby (Weird, I know! Try going!). I've also included below an icon of the farm house in Ramsayville were my mother grew up which is not far from where my great-great-great grandfather settled in the Ottawa Valley. 


I used the Royal Stewart Tartan as reference, choosing both darker and lighter versions of the colour pallette. 

Here's a couple T-shirts to show how the logo would look in situ. Tada!

(Not bad for an llustrator newbie!).


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