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An excerpt from archives copyright 2000 - 2016

The Amos family name is thought to be of Norman origins. It comes from an early member of the family who was a good friend or beloved one. The name was originally derived from the Old French given name or nickname Amis or Ami, which means friend.


The surname Amos was first found in the county of Northumberland, where they were granted lands by King William after the Norman Conquest in 1066. They originated from Exmes, a town in the department of Orne, in Normandy.

Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Ames, Amess, Amies, Amis, Amiss, Amos, Hames, Haymes, Eames, Emmes and many more.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Amos research. Another 355 words (25 lines of text) covering the years 1889, 1640, 1692, 1721, 1576, 1633, 1619, 1695, 1689, 1759, 1641, 1721 and 1692 are included under the topic Early Amos History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Outstanding amongst the family at this time was William Ames (Latin: Guilielmus Amesius) (1576-1633), an English Protestant divine, philosopher, and controversialist; Henry Metcalfe Ames, of Lynden, Northumberland; Joseph Ames (1619-1695), an English naval commander from Norfolk who commanded several ships of war, and made repeated voyages to...

Another 46 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Amos Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Amos or a variant listed above:

Amos Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Hugh Amos, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1666
  • Michael Amos, who arrived in Maryland in 1675

Amos Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Josiah Amos settled in Maryland in 1728
  • Ann Amos settled in Virginia in 1731
  • William Amos, who arrived in Maryland in 1735
  • Jacob Amos, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1765
  • Mathias Amos settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1766
  • ...

Amos Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Manuel Amos, who landed in Puerto Rico in 1814
  • Georg Friedrich Amos, who arrived in America in 1819
  • James Amos settled in New York state in 1820
  • Charles Amos, aged 40, landed in Missouri in 1840
  • Zachariah Amos, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • ...

Amos Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century

  • Mrs. Amos, who landed in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1907
  • A A Amos, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1907

Amos Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • George Amos, a shipwright, arrived in New South Wales, Australia sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Thomas Amos arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Calphurnia" in 1849
  • George Amos, aged 27, arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Dirigo"

Amos Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Francis Amos arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "John Masterman" in 1857
  • Mary Amos arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "John Masterman" in 1857

  • Tori Amos (b. 1963), American pianist and singer-songwriter
  • Francis John Clarke Amos CBE (1924-1993), English town planner, architect and sociologist
  • Phillip Albert Amos (1925-2007), New Zealand politician of the Labour Party
  • Robert Amos (b. 1950), Canadian artist living in Victoria
  • Imre Amos (1907-1944), Jewish-Hungarian painter
  • Bruce Amos (b. 1946), Canadian photographer

  • Ancestry from A to Z: Amos Zoll and Related Families by Eugene P. Amos.
  • Some Early Families of the Altamaha Delta by Bessie Lewis and Minnie Tremere Martin.

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Fama candida rosa dulcior
Motto Translation: Fame is sweeter than the white rose.


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    Other References

    1. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
    2. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
    3. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
    4. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
    5. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
    6. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
    7. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
    8. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
    9. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
    10. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
    11. ...

    The Amos Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Amos Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

    This page was last modified on 7 June 2016 at 19:43.

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