When Rev John Lee Ames was born on 14 January 1810, in Ames Township, Athens, Ohio, United States, his father, Sylvanus Ames, was 38 and his mother, Abigail Lee Johnson, was 38. He married Charlotte Hardaway Watson on 11 September 1834. They were the parents of at least 6 sons and 3 daughters. He lived in Missouri, United States in 1870 and Franklin Township, Newton, Missouri, United States in 1880. He died on 17 December 1892, in Newtown, Sullivan, Missouri, United States, at the age of 82, and was buried in Neosho, Newton, Missouri, United States.
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’.