The Ames family of Easton, Massachusetts
In the Ames story you will find no martial exploits, but you may discover some old dead people" valiantly waging a more fruitful struggle--to make their own land a better place to live in, and hand on to you a more sheltered lot and a reputable name. They cleared the wilderness that you might plant gardens. ... Moreover, I think you will find the lives of these first Ameses reflect the early history of your country--its pioneer settlers and their brave hardihood, the war for independence, the birth and shaping of the first democracy, its sudden rise into a commercial world power, and its spread from the Atlantic seaboard across a continent. Rereading what I have written I feel I may have included too much general history and repeated facts that everybody knows or would find better told elsewhere. But th records of the earlier Ameses are so meagre, often only the parish entry of a birth and a death, that my task was somewhat like that of Cuvier who tried to reconstruct a prehistoric animal from a single bone. To make any picture of their lives at all I was forced to fill in the contemporary background." --From the section of the book entitled "A Quite Unnecessary Preface."
Ames, W. (1938). The Ames Family of Easton, Massachusetts. North Easton, MA: Privately Printed. From the Quintin Publications Collection.