Stoke History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Stoke was brought to England by the Normans when they conquered the country in 1066. The ancestors of the Stoke family lived in Pembrokeshire. Their name, however, is a reference to Stock, near Caen, Normandy, the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066.

Early Origins of the Stoke family

The surname Stoke was first found in Pembrokeshire where they held a family seat from early times. One of the first records of the names was Saint Simon Stock (c. 1165-1265), an English saint who was probably born in Aylesford England. In a vision, The Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to him and gave him the Carmelite habit, the Brown Scapular and promised that those who die wearing it will be saved.

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 include the following: Baldewin de Stoke in Suffolk; Mariota de Stoke in Huntingdonshire; Robert de Stokes in Oxfordshire; and Seman de Stokes in Northamptonshire. [1]

Peter Stokes (died 1399), was a Carmelite friar at Hitchin, Hertfordshire and later after studying at Oxford rose to become a doctor of divinity before 1382. During the religious troubles of that year Stokes acted as the representative of Archbishop Courtenay in the university. [2]

"Thomas Stokes, "armiger," and some, if not all, of the members of his family, which included four sons and twelve daughters, were buried in the church of Ashby Ledgers during the 15th century. Adrian Stokes by right of his wife owned the living of Tifiield in 1575." [3]

Early History of the Stoke family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Stoke research. Another 71 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1180, 1220, 1569, 1626, 1591, 1669, 1590 and 1591 are included under the topic Early Stoke History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Stoke Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries. For that reason, spelling variations are common among many Anglo-Norman names. The shape of the English language was frequently changed with the introduction of elements of Norman French, Latin, and other European languages; even the spelling of literate people's names were subsequently modified. Stoke has been recorded under many different variations, including Stoke, Stokes, Stoaks, Stocks and others.

Early Notables of the Stoke family (pre 1700)

Another 50 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Stoke Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Stoke family to Ireland

Some of the Stoke family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 47 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Stoke migration to the United States +

To escape the uncertainty of the political and religious uncertainty found in England, many English families boarded ships at great expense to sail for the colonies held by Britain. The passages were expensive, though, and the boats were unsafe, overcrowded, and ridden with disease. Those who were hardy and lucky enough to make the passage intact were rewarded with land, opportunity, and social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families went on to be important contributors to the young nations of Canada and the United States where they settled. Stokes were some of the first of the immigrants to arrive in North America:

Stoke Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Stoke, who landed in Virginia in 1657 [4]
  • John Stoke, who arrived in Maryland in 1665 [4]
Stoke Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Stoke, aged 30, who landed in America, in 1894
  • John W. Stoke, aged 36, who immigrated to America, in 1894
  • Moritz Stoke, aged 26, who landed in America, in 1897
Stoke Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Henry A. Stoke, who immigrated to the United States, in 1903
  • Mrs. E. F. Stoke, aged 44, who immigrated to the United States, in 1905
  • E. F. Stoke, aged 59, who landed in America, in 1905
  • Frederick George Stoke, aged 31, who immigrated to the United States from Beckenham, England, in 1912
  • Thomas Stoke, aged 25, who landed in America, in 1921
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Stoke migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Stoke Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Sarah Stoke, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Victory " arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 17th October 1863 [5]

Contemporary Notables of the name Stoke (post 1700) +

  • Maurice Stoke (1933-1970), American professional basketball player in the 1950s
  • Louis Stoke (b. 1925), American Democratic politician from Ohio
  • Steven Stoke, American movie production manager and producer
  • Francis Martin Stoke (1902-1979), English novelist, biographer and playwright
  • Gerard James Stoke, New Zealand rugby league coach and former player
  • Kerry Matthew Stoke (b. 1940), Australian businessman
  • Mathew Stoke (b. 1984), Australian rules footballer
  • Anthony Stoke (b. 1988), Irish professional footballer


The Stoke Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Fortis qui insons
Motto Translation: Innocent fortune.


  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  3. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  4. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  5. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html


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