When Samuel Ames was born on 23 February 1828, in Shoreham, Addison, Vermont, United States, his father, Clark Ames, was 22 and his mother, Amanda Spicer, was 25. He died on 2 February 1880, in Fiddletown, Amador, California, United States, at the age of 51.
English (of Norman origin): from the Old French personal name Amis or from the feminine form, Amice. The Old French word amis, is from Latin amicus ‘friend’, which was used in Late Latin as a term for a man of the lower classes, in particular a slave. There were also derivatives of this as personal names, in particular masculine Amicius and feminine Amicia. Both were in use as personal names in England and may have contributed to the surname.
German: perhaps a nickname for an active person, from an ancient Germanic word related to Old High German amazzig ‘busy’.
Dutch: possibly a patronymic from Ame a common personal name in Holland and Friesland, an abbreviated form of an ancient Germanic personal name, perhaps beginning with amel ‘strong’.