Some descendants of Gabriel Stokes
Please refer either to this briefer Family Tree PDF file, emphasising the more famous members, or to
to this more complete Family Tree PDF file.
Gabriel Stokes, born 1682 in Dublin, is our earliest ancestor to whom
we can trace
a direct line.
The further link to the English Stokes family is based on
the successful outcome of an application
he made in 1721 for the right to bear the Stokes arms.
But the documents in support of the application are lost,
and we do not know his exact connection.
The list of descendants is long, with many distinguished characters,
and some colourful ones.
This chart traces the two main branches, descending from his sons John and Gabriel,
down to about 1900, and our own branch to the present day.
There is a longer chart with the complete descendants.
These are partly based on charts my father included in his original version
of "A Stokes family of Dublin",
but they have been much expanded by the research of Meyricke Serjeanston.
I am particularly indebted to the GEDCOM file that he has made available of his family,
which includes Gabriel's descendants.
Michael Sandford also has a very informative site.
Alastair Wood's site is particularly oriented towards the history of Sir George Stokes
but has background on his forebears.
Brief notes on particular members
Gabriel Stokes 1682-1768
Gabriel was a surveyor and instrument maker in Dublin. His life and achievements are described particularly here
and by Michael Sandford. His role in establishing the heritage of the English family
is described above.
John Stokes 1721-1781
John was a churchman and an academic - the first in the family. He was the inaugural professor of mathematics at Trinity College,
but after two years was succeeded by his brother Gabriel, whereupon he became professor of Greek.
Gabriel Stokes 1732-1806
The junior Gabriel was also a churchman, and was professor of mathematics at Trinity College, Dublin,
from 1764 until his death in 1806.
Whitley Stokes 1763-1845
Whitley, the son of Gabriel, was a physician and became Regius Professor of Medicine at Trinity College. He was an Irish nationalist,
and among other things published an English-Irish dictionary. An important event of his life was the uprising of 1798,
which he supported and in
which his friend Wolfe Tone was a leader.
He was called before Lord Clare in 1798 (a detailed contemporary description is here).
He was dismissed from his academic posts, but restored three years later.
An excellent summary of his life, with many references, is
His pamphlet "Project for Re-establishing the Internal Peace and Tranquillity of Ireland" (1799) is in the Belfast Public Library.
Sir George Gabriel Stokes 1819-1903
Sir George is the most eminent member of the family. He was an outstanding physicist and mathematician,
whose name is commemorated in many scientific discoveries of great current importance.
He was both Secretary and President of the Royal Society of London, and was the Lucasian Professor
of Mathematics at Cambridge. He was made a baronet in 1889, and represented Cambridge University in Parliament.
There is a lot of information available. There is an extensive encyclopedia entry here, and the original
1911 Encyclopedia Britannica entry, written soon after his death, is here.
William Stokes 1804-1878
Like his father Whitley, William became Regius Professor of Medicine at Trinity College.
He pioneered the use of the stethoscope, and wrote two famous treatises,
one on "diseases of the chest" and another on "diseases of the heart and aorta.
His name is attached to medical misfortunes such as Stokes-Adams syndrome and Cheyne-Stokes breathing.
He was famous as a physician and teacher in Ireland and abroad. He became a Fellow of the Royal Society.
He also was prominent in art, archaeology and Irish history, and was elected
President of the Irish Academy. He wrote "The Life and Labors in Art and Archaeology of George Petrie, (1868)"
There is a good biography page here, and another
The Encyclopedia Britannica has an article,
and there is a wikipedia entry
Some anecdotes, and description of his residence, are here.
Whitley Stokes 1830-1909
Unlike his father and grandfather, he was not a physician, but followed his father's interst in Irish society and Celtic studies.
He was also an eminent lawyer, who spent over twenty years in India, and wrote several reference works on Indian law.
He is best known for his works on Irish language and old Irish glosses. There is a 1911 encyclopedia article,
and a wikipedia article. There is a bibliography here
with many complete texts online.
There is a Whitley Stokes collection at University College London with over 3500 of his books.
Margaret M'Nair Stokes 1832-1900
Margaret Stokes also followed her father's interest in culture and archaelogy. She published a number of books,
still often consulted, on topics such as "Early Christian Architecture in Ireland".
An interesting account of an encounter with the work of Margaret and her father is here.
An encyclopedic account with many references is here.
Sir William Stokes 1838-1900
It was the fifth child of William Stokes who kept in the medical career path of his father, and he was the third of this remarkable family
to achieve eminence.
He was a noted surgeon, becoming Professor of Surgery at The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland,
and became Surgeon in Ireland to the Queen.
He was knighted for his medical services.
Here is an encyclopedia article
Charles Stokes 1852-1895
Charles Stokes was a colourful and enterprising character. He went to Africa as a missionary, but after a family tragedy
left the mission and became a trader. He was famed for his organisation of large expeditions into very newly discovered country.
He became rich and influential, and a threat to some of the colonial powers. In 1895 he was captured (through trickery)
by a Belgian military unit,
accused of gun-running, and summarily hanged. There was an international furore, in which
Queen Victoria and her nephew King Leopold of Belgium became involved,
and eventually a large compensation was paid. There are two books on his life. There is also an account
of his trial and execution
by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, which you can read
Adrian Stokes, DSO, OBE 1887-1927
Adrian Stokes was a nephew to Whitley, William and Margaret. He was a doctor working on tropical fevers.
He became successively Professor of Bacteriology and Preventative Medicine at Trinity College Dublin, and
Professor of Pathology at London University, but worked at times for the Rockefeller centre on tropical infections,
particularly yellow fever, of which he died at the age of 40. There is an article on him in the Encyclopedia Britannica.