Joseph Stokes

Joseph Stokes has been attributed as the son of Ann Stokes and an unknown father. This has not been proven, but there are a number of factors that support this arrangement. There is also an alternative view of Joseph's origins that states he was the convict by the same name who arrived in the colony on the Lord Auckland in 1844. To compound the issue of establishing Joseph's identity, he is often also recorded as Richard Stokes, or Joseph Richard Stokes. This issue and these variations will be discussed in greater detail as the story of Joseph's life develops.

John Horton
John Horton's picture
Joseph Stokes, Son of Ann Stokes or Convict?

Evidence supporting the proposition that Joseph Stokes was the son of Ann Stokes:

  • Ann Stoke's mother Elizabeth was married to Joseph Genders, and Joseph Stokes had a grandson with the name Joseph Genders Stokes;
  • Ann Stokes and her husband William Smedley, including their known children (Dobson, Smedley, Horton) also lived in the Circular Head area where Joseph Stokes and his family resided;
  • Joseph Stokes' year of birth (1831, calculated from his age stated at marriage, 25 in 1856) is consistent with the births of Ann's other children. Joseph Stokes the convict's year of birth is 1826 (calculated from his age stated at trial, 17 in 1843);
  • Joseph Stokes the convict indicated he could read and write when his convict indent was created in 1844. The Joseph Stokes who married Celia Wells in 1856 made his mark, indicating he couldn't write. It seems unlikely someone could forget how to write in the space of 12 years.

Evidence supporting the proposition that Joseph Stokes was the convict who arrived on the Lord Auckland:

  • There are no records for a separate Joseph Stokes. If Joseph was the son of Ann Stokes one would expect to see a separate set of records from those of the convict.
  • The various name alterations, such as Joseph Richard Stokes, and Richard Stokes, actually support the proposition that he was the convict, as he had significant reasons for wanting to mask his identity.

Follow ups:

  • Check the VDL Company records to see if Joseph Stokes the convict was assigned there, or if there are any records for Joseph Stokes that might enlighten us regarding his origins.