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"Growing up at a wizarding school was hard for Martha, even though she was deeply loved by her parents. She would eventually marry the non-magical brother of a friend from a Pocomtuc tribe, and live her life as a No-Maj. "
— Martha's painful decision to be a part of the No-Maj world[src]

Martha Steward (b. 1600s) was a Squib and the elder twin daughter of Isolt Sayre and James Steward. Isolt and James were the founders of Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

It was painful for Martha to grow up at Ilvermorny when she herself was unable to perform magic. She eventually married the non-magical brother of a friend from the Pocomtuc tribe and lived henceforth as a No-Maj.


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 went on to marry the non-magical brother of a friend from the Pocomtuc tribe. She assimilated into her husband's community, living as a No-Maj. However, it is unknown whether Martha and her fraternal twin sister are the last of the Irish branch of the Gaunt family. Because Martha is the only one in the family who is married, she may have had children with her husband.


  • 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”.

Behind the scenes

  • It is not known whether or not Martha had children; but if she still had descendants nowadays they most likely would be No-Maj, or No-Maj born, so ironically Salazar Slytherin may have had descendants who were in the two categories of people he hated most.
  • Martha's sister chose not to marry because she didn't want the Slytherin line to continue. It is possible that she did not want to impose this choice on Martha, or that she tried and failed.
    • However, Martha's husband did not have magical powers and the discovery that magic can awaken in the descendants of the squib is recent, so it is possible that Rionach did not oppose her sister's marriage.


Notes and references