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.