Martha Steward was born in or around 1634 at Ilvermorny in Massachusetts, arriving before her fraternal twin sister, Rionach. Her parents, Isolt Sayre, a pure-blood witch, and James Steward, a No-Maj, were the founders of the school. She was named after her paternal grandmother. She also had two adopted brothers: Chadwick and Webster Boot.
Martha was the only one in the family to be born a Squib, and with no magic powers herself, she considered her upbringing at Ilvermorny painful. She was loved by her family regardless.
When she was a baby, her great-aunt, Gormlaith Gaunt, attacked the family. Her parents had been put in to a deep sleep by Gormlaith, but the cries of Martha and her sister woke them. The family were saved by William, the Pukwudgie her mother had befriended several years earlier.
- Martha comes from the Aramic marta meaning "the lady, mistress".
- The surname steward comes from Middle English steward, from Old English stīweard, stīġweard meaning “steward, housekeeper, one who has the superintendence of household affairs, guardian”, from stīġ in the sense house, hall + weard “ward, guard, guardian, keeper”.
- Pottermore (First appearance)