Early records reveal that this surname originated in England. Stokes is a variation of the name Stoke. Etymology may be defined as the history of a word, revealed through the analysis of its parts, and by tracing its roots to past times and even to foreign languages. Such a study is of particular interest when applied to a name. Stokes belongs to the category of “topographic” names, or ones which had their roots in certain distinctive features in the landscape; in this case, a habitation name from any of the numerous places throughout England named “stoke” (Middle English) or the Old English “stoc”. The earliest written references to persons bearing this surname pertain to Ricerus de Stochas (mentioned in a document from the year 1084), and later, a Cnut de Stoch (his name being recorded in a document dated 1166). An Ailwin de Stokes appears in a scroll written in the year 1195. Centuries ago, many families displayed mottoes – concise phrases which might express anything from a pun on the name to a religious or philosophical guiding principle – on scrolls, or below their coat of arms. The motto used by one branch of the Stokes … Coat of arms: Ar. on a bend sable trhee dolphins or. Crest.-…
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