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An excerpt from archives copyright 2000 - 2016

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.


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.

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.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Stokes research. Another 141 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1180, 1220, 1569 and 1626 are included under the topic Early Stokes History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 33 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Stokes Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Stokes family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 83 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


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
  • George Stokes settled in Barbados in 1634
  • Grace, and Eleanor Stokes settled in Boston in 1635
  • Grace Stokes, aged 20, arrived in New England in 1635

Stokes Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Samuel Stokes, who arrived in North Carolina in 1701
  • Joseph Stokes, who landed in South Carolina in 1711
  • Eleanor Stokes, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1767

Stokes Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Thomas B Stokes, aged 17, landed in New York in 1812
  • Jos Stokes, who arrived in Charleston, South Carolina in 1825
  • Joseph Houghton Stokes, who arrived in New York in 1847
  • George Stokes, who arrived in Mississippi in 1850
  • John Stokes, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1852

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

Stokes Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Peter Stokes, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Ann" on August 1809, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • Edward Stokes, English convict from Shropshire, who was transported aboard the "Andromeda" on October 16, 1826, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
  • Stanley Stokes arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Lloyds" in 1838
  • Richard Stokes arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Somersetshire" in 1839
  • Priscilla Stokes arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Somersetshire" in 1839

Stokes Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • J Stokes landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1839
  • Robert Stokes landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship Cuba
  • James Milburn Stokes a doctor, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Aurora" in 1840
  • Robert Stokes arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Cuba" in 1840
  • John Stokes, aged 49, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Tyne" in 1841


  • 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. 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
  • Leslie Stokes, English playwright and BBC radio producer and director
  • Francis Martin Sewell Stokes (1902-1979), English novelist, biographer, playwright, screenwriter and broadcaster
  • Admiral John Lort Stokes RN (1811-1885), English officer in the Royal Navy who traveled extensively on HMS Beagle
  • Donald Gresham Stokes (1914-2008), Baron Stokes, an English industrialist, former chairman of Leyland Motors Ltd
  • John Henry Stokes MBE, BEM (1945-2016), nicknamed "Brummie" Stokes, a British Army soldier and mountaineer, best known for his successful summit of Everest in 1976



  • 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.

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.


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  1. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  2. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  3. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  4. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  5. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  6. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  7. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  8. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  9. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  10. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  11. ...

The Stokes Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Stokes Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 23 April 2016 at 15:54.

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