Ames last name popularity, history, and meaning

Find out how popular the last name Ames is in the United States and learn more about the meaning, history, and race and ethnic origin of people in America who are named Ames.

Meaning of Ames

Derived from the Old French for "friend," likely referring to a person who was well-liked or kind.

Ames, like all of the last names we have data for, is identified by the U.S. Census Bureau as a surname which has more than 100 occurrences in the United States in the Decennial Census survey. The most recent statistics we have for the Ames surname is from the 2010 census data.

Popularity of Ames in America

Ames is the 1598th most popular name in America based on the data we have collected from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Ames surname appeared 22,385 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 8 people would have the surname Ames.

We can also compare 2010 data for Ames to data from the previous census in 2000. The table below contains all of the statistics for both years in a side-by-side comparison.

2010 2000 Change (%)
Rank 1598 1499 6.39%
Count 22,385 21,855 2.40%
Proportion per 100k 7.59 8.10 -6.50%

The history of the last name Ames

The surname Ames has its origins in the French language, with roots dating back to the Middle Ages. It is believed to have derived from the Old French word "aime," meaning "beloved" or "loved one." This name was likely given as a nickname or a descriptive name to someone who was greatly admired or cherished in their community.

The earliest recorded instances of the name Ames can be traced back to the 12th century in the regions of Normandy and Brittany in France. In medieval records, the name appeared in various spellings, such as Aimé, Aymé, and Amé, reflecting the regional variations in pronunciation and spelling conventions of the time.

One of the earliest known references to the name Ames can be found in the Domesday Book, a manuscript compiled in 1086 by order of William the Conqueror. The entry mentions a landowner named Aimé in the county of Cambridgeshire, England, suggesting that the name had already made its way across the English Channel by the 11th century.

As the name spread across Europe, it evolved into various forms, including Ames in England and Amos in Scotland. Some notable individuals bearing this surname include:

  1. William Ames (1576-1633), an English Protestant theologian and philosopher, known for his work "Medulla Theologica."
  2. Joseph Ames (1687-1759), an English bibliographer and antiquary, best known for his work "Typographical Antiquities."
  3. Fisher Ames (1758-1808), an American politician, diplomat, and one of the founding members of the Federalist Party.
  4. Nathaniel Ames (1708-1764), an American almanac maker and innkeeper from Dedham, Massachusetts.
  5. Adelbert Ames (1835-1933), a Union Army general during the American Civil War and later a senator from Mississippi.

The name Ames has also been associated with various place names throughout history. For example, the town of Ames in Iowa, USA, was named after Oakes Ames, a prominent railroad entrepreneur and congressman. Similarly, the town of Amesbury in Massachusetts took its name from the combination of "Ames" and "bury," an Old English word for a fortified town or settlement.

Throughout its long history, the surname Ames has carried a sense of endearment and affection, reflecting the original meaning of the Old French word "aime." Its presence in various records and its association with notable individuals across different fields showcase the widespread adoption and adaptation of this name over the centuries.

Race and ethnic origin of people with the last name Ames

We also have some data on the ancestry of people with the surname Ames.

The below race categories are the modified race categories used in the Census Bureau's population estimates program. All people were categorized into six mutually exclusive racial and Hispanic origin groups:

  1. White only
  2. Black only
  3. American Indian and Alaskan Native only
  4. Asian and Pacific Islander only
  5. Hispanic
  6. Two or More Races

For the most recent 2010 census data, the race/ethnic origin breakdown for Ames was:

Race/Ethnicity Percentage Total Occurrences
Non-Hispanic White Only 84.65% 18,949
Non-Hispanic Black Only 7.88% 1,764
Non-Hispanic Asian and Pacific Islander Only 0.96% 215
Non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.62% 139
Non-Hispanic of Two or More Races 1.89% 423
Hispanic Origin 4.00% 895

Note: Any fields showing (S) means the data was suppressed for privacy so that the data does not in any way identify any specific individuals.

Since we have data from the previous census in 2000, we can also compare the values to see how the popularity of Ames has changed in the 10 years between the two census surveys.

2010 2000 Change (%)
White 84.65% 86.11% -1.71%
Black 7.88% 7.98% -1.26%
Asian and Pacific Islander 0.96% 0.86% 10.99%
American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.62% 0.75% -18.98%
Two or More Races 1.89% 1.56% 19.13%
Hispanic 4.00% 2.74% 37.39%

Data source

The last name data and ethnic breakdown of last names is sourced directly from the Decennial Census survey, conducted every 10 years by the United States Census Bureau.

The history and meaning of the name Ames was researched and written by our team of onomatology and genealogy experts.

If you have a correction or suggestion to improve the history of Ames, please contact us.

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"Ames last name popularity, history, and meaning". Accessed on July 12, 2024.

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