Stokes History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Stokes is one of the many names that the Normans brought with them when they conquered England in 1066. The Stokes 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 Stokes family

The surname Stokes 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 Stokes family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Stokes 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 Stokes History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Stokes Spelling Variations

Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Stokes family name include Stoke, Stokes, Stoaks, Stocks and others.

Early Notables of the Stokes family (pre 1700)

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

Stokes World Ranking

In the United States, the name Stokes is the 418th most popular surname with an estimated 67,149 people with that name. [4] However, in Australia, the name Stokes is ranked the 412nd most popular surname with an estimated 9,008 people with that name. [5] And in New Zealand, the name Stokes is the 378th popular surname with an estimated 1,699 people with that name. [6] The United Kingdom ranks Stokes as 295th with 20,472 people. [7]

Ireland Migration of the Stokes family to Ireland

Some of the Stokes 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 Stokes migration to the United States +

To escape the political and religious chaos of this era, thousands of English families began to migrate to the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. The passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe; however, those who made the voyage safely were encountered opportunities that were not available to them in their homeland. Many of the families that reached the New World at this time went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Stokes family to immigrate North America:

Stokes Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Christopher Stokes who settled in Virginia in 1624
  • Christopher Stokes, who landed in Virginia in 1624 [8]
  • Grace, and Eleanor Stokes, who settled in Boston in 1635
  • Grace Stokes, aged 20, who arrived in New England in 1635 [8]
  • Tho Stokes, aged 30, who arrived in Bermuda in 1635 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Stokes Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Samuel Stokes, who arrived in North Carolina in 1701 [8]
  • Joseph Stokes, who landed in South Carolina in 1711 [8]
  • Eleanor Stokes, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1767 [8]
Stokes Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Thomas B Stokes, aged 17, who landed in New York in 1812 [8]
  • Jos Stokes, who arrived in Charleston, South Carolina in 1825 [8]
  • Joseph Houghton Stokes, who arrived in New York in 1847 [8]
  • George Stokes, who arrived in Mississippi in 1850 [8]
  • John Stokes, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1852 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Stokes migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Stokes Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Edward Stokes, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
Stokes Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • William Stokes, who arrived in Canada in 1841
  • Patrick Stokes, who landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1843
  • Miss. Mary Stokes, aged 2 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Independence" departing from the port of Belfast, Ireland but died on Grosse Isle in August 1847 [9]

Australia Stokes migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Stokes Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Thomas Stokes, British convict who was convicted in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Calcutta" in February 1803, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [10]
  • Peter Stokes, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Ann" on August 1809, settling in New South Wales, Australia [11]
  • Edward Stokes, English convict from Shropshire, who was transported aboard the "Andromeda" on October 16, 1826, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [12]
  • Mr. Edward Stokes, British Convict who was convicted in Stafford, Staffordshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Earl St Vincent" on 20th April 1826, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [13]
  • Mr. John Stokes, British convict who was convicted in Shropshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Asia" on 19th November 1827, settling in New South Wales, Australia [14]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Stokes 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:

Stokes Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • J Stokes, who landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1839
  • J M Stokes, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship "Aurora"
  • Robert Stokes, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship Cuba
  • James Milburn Stokes a doctor, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Aurora" in 1840
  • Robert Stokes, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Cuba" in 1840
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Stokes migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [15]
Stokes Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • George Stokes, who settled in Barbados in 1634
  • Luke Stokes, aged 35, who arrived in Barbados in 1635 [8]
  • Mr. Luke Stokes, (b. 1600), aged 35, British settler travelling from London, England aboard the ship "Peter Bonaventure" arriving in Barbados and St Christopher (Saint Kitts) in 1635 [16]
  • Mr. Thomas Stokes, (b. 1605), aged 30, British settler travelling aboard the ship "The Dorset" arriving in Barbados in September 1635 [17]

Contemporary Notables of the name Stokes (post 1700) +

  • W. Royal Stokes (1930-2021), American writer, music journalist, and music historian
  • Louis Stokes (1925-2015), American attorney and politician, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives (1993-1999)
  • Frederick A. Stokes (1857-1939), American publisher who founded Frederick A. Stokes, an American publishing company in 1890
  • Elizabeth Dilling Stokes (1894-1966), well-known American anti-communist and anti-war activist and writer in the 1930s and 1940s, which led to charges of "anti-Semitism" and "sedition" in the Great Sedition Trial of 1944
  • Shelly Stokes, American softball player
  • Mr. Arthur Henry Stokes, English coal mine inspector working in Baddesley coal mine in Warwickshire on 2nd May 1882, he was awarded the Albert Medal for lifesaving
  • Benjamin Andrew Stokes O.B.E. (b. 1991), born in Christchurch, New Zealand, an English international cricketer and vice-captain of the England cricket team in Test cricket; he was part of the England squad that won the 2019 Cricket World Cup. In July 2020, he captained the England team for the first time. He was awarded the BBC Sports Personality of the Year, appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 2020
  • Henry Sewell Stokes (1808-1895), Cornish poet, the eldest son of Henry Stokes (d. 1832), proctor and notary at Gibraltar
  • Leslie Stokes, English playwright and BBC radio producer and director
  • Francis Martin Sewell Stokes (1902-1979), English novelist, biographer, playwright, screenwriter and broadcaster
  • ... (Another 14 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Air New Zealand Flight 901
  • Mr. Alan Maxwell Stokes (1928-1979), New Zealander passenger, from Pakuranga, Auckland, New Zealand aboard the Air New Zealand Flight 901 for an Antarctic sightseeing flight when it flew into Mount Erebus; he died in the crash [18]
Halifax Explosion
  • Mr. John R  Stokes Sr. (1864-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [19]
  • Mr. John Jr  Stokes (1897-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [19]
  • Mrs. Eileen  Stokes (1898-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who survived the explosion but later died due to injuries [19]
HMS Hood
  • Mr. John E Stokes (b. 1901), English Able Seaman serving for the Royal Navy from Farnham, Surrey, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [20]
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. John Leslie Stokes, British Colonel Sergeant, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [21]
HMS Royal Oak
  • Henry James Stokes (1908-1939), British Able Seaman with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [22]
  • Joseph Leonard Stokes (1918-1939), British Stoker 1st Class with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [22]
RMS Lusitania
  • Mr. George Edward Stokes, Canadian 2nd Class passenger from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking [23]
  • Master William Stokes, Canadian 2nd Class passenger from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking [23]
  • Mrs. Mabel Stokes, Canadian 2nd Class passenger from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking [23]
RMS Titanic
  • Mr. Philip Joseph Stokes (d. 1912), aged 25, English Second Class passenger from London, England who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking and was recovered by CS Mackay-Bennett [24]


The Stokes 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.


Suggested Readings for the name Stokes +

  • The Mills, Stokes, and Forrester Families of Primarily Greenville Co, S.C. by Lorene Burton Ambrose.
  • The Stokes Family of Pitt County, N.C. by Taney Brazeal.
  • The Andrews, Clapp, Stokes, Wright, Van Cleve Genealogies by Alfred S. Andrews.

  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. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  5. ^ https://forebears.io/australia/surnames
  6. ^ https://forebears.io/new-zealand/surnames
  7. ^ https://www.surnamemap.eu/unitedkingdom/surnames_ranking.php?p=10
  8. ^ 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)
  9. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 56)
  10. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 25th November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/calcutta
  11. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Ann voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1809 with 200 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/ann/1809
  12. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Andromeda voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1826 with 147 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/andromeda/1826
  13. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 14th September 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/earl-st-vincent
  14. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 8th January 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1827
  15. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  16. ^ Pilgrim Ship Lists Early 1600's retrieved 23rd September 2021. (Retrieved from https://www.packrat-pro.com/ships/shiplist.htm)
  17. ^ Pilgrim Ship Lists Early 1600's retrieved 29th September 2021. (Retrieved from https://www.packrat-pro.com/ships/shiplist.htm)
  18. ^ Mount Erebus, Memorial, Roll of Remembrance (Retrieved 2018, February 21st). Retrieved from http://www.erebus.co.nz/memorialandawards/rollofremembrance.aspx
  19. ^ Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from https://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca/what-see-do/halifax-explosion/halifax-explosion-book-remembrance
  20. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm
  21. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html
  22. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html
  23. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 6) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/
  24. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html


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