The surname of STOKES is a locational name from the Old English 'stoc' meaning place. It occurs frequently in English placenames, on its own, or as in Basingstoke - near Basing. The name has been in Ireland since the 14th century. There were many distinguished persons of the name in the 19th century, especially in the field of Irish literature and science. Ireland is one of the earliest sources of the development of patronymic names in northern Europe. Irish Clan or bynames can be traced back to the 4th century B.C. and Mac (son of) and O (grandson or ancestor of) evolved from this base, the original literal meaning of which has been lost due to the absence of written records and linguistic ambivalences which subtly but inexorably became adopted through usage. Genealogists and lexographers accept that the patronymic base does not refer to a location, quite the contrary. The use of the prefix 'Bally' (town of) attaching to the base name, identifying the location. The base root was also adopted by people residing in the demographic area without a common ancestor. These groups called 'Septs' were specially prevalent in Ireland. The first Normans arrived in Ireland in the 12th and 13th centuries to form an alliance with the King of Leinster, against his enemies, merging into the cultural developments. Under Elizabeth 1 in the 16th century, settlers from England established themselves around Dublin, then under English control and Presbyterian Scots emigrated to Ulster, introducing English and Scottish roots. Early records of the name mention Ricerus de Stochas of the County of Somerset, 1084. Cnut de Stock of the County of Derbyshire was documented in the year 1166. Baldewin de Stoke in the County of Somerset, 1273. Adam del Stoke of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax 1379. Walter de Stoke of County Somerset, was documented during the reign of Edward 111 (1327-1377). The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory.Ulster King of Arms in 1884. Registered in Dublin. An interesting member of the name was Witley Stokes (1830-1909) the Irish jurist. He studied law at Trinity College, Dublin, went to India in 1862, and in 1879 was president of the Indian Law Commission and draughtman of the law and criminal codes. He write many legal works and edited Irish and other Celtic texts.
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