Last name: Lee

This famous name recorded as Lee, Lees, Lea, Leas, Lease and Leese is of Olde English origin. It is usually locational and derives from any of the places named with the pre 7th Century element "leah". This translates as "an open place" in a forest or wood, but may describe a water meadow, the word having different meanings in different parts of the country. Examples of the place names include Lee in Buckinghamshire and Hampshire, and also Lea in Cheshire, Lincolnshire and Wiltshire. The name may also be topographical, for someone who lived at a clearing or pasture, as in the surname 'Atlee'. The name is one of the earliest recorded (see below) and early examples include Turqod de la Lea, in the 1193 Pipe Rolls of Warwickshire, Roger de Lees of Norfolk and Richard de la Lee in the 1272 Hundred Rolls of Wiltshire, whilst Robert Leese is recorded in the Wills Register of the county of Cheshire in 1593. Examples from church registers include John Lee, who married Agnes Masset in London in 1550, and Anne Lease, a widow, who married William Sulham also in London in 1577. Sir Henry Lee (1530 - 1610) was master of the ordnance and personal champion to Queen Elizabeth from 1559 to 1590, when his son took over the position. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ailric de la Leie, which was dated circa 1148, in the "Charters of Northamptonshire", during the reign of King Stephen, known as "Count of Blois", 1135 - 1154. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

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I am trying to trace the family tree of Jane Lee, who married William Bridle in the parish of Sandford Orcas, Dorset on 21 May 1978. There is no mention of her parents on her Marriage record but she is described as 'Sojourner of this Parish'. I understand 'sojourner' to mean 'of temporary residence'. Could this possibly mean she was of Romany decent?

Hi my name is Dan Lee and like a comment a few posts down, I am Irish. Lee comes from the O'Laidhigh clan who were doctors to the high king of Galway, Ireland - king O'Flaherty. We then moved both and became MacAlee. Lee, is NOT a English surname!

San, that's really nice news. From where did you get your information? My last name is Lee and it is traced back to England. However, I would love to research the origins in England.

David Lee
My name is David Lee. I go back to Charles Lee in 1722. He was in Henrico Co. VA. Haven't gotten his ancestors. He married Ann Dabbs. His father WAS NOT Richard who married Mildred Henning or something like that. I am interested in the DNA testing. Thank You

Templar... -.-

Is also a gaelic anglicanised from the occupational surname laoidhigh meaning "poet"

Richard G May
My surname is MAY but in doing research I founr that my great grandmother was a Sarah Jane Lee, she was of romany decent and it has been confirmed that her sister was Rosamund Maud Lee better known as Gypsy Rose Lee. yes this surname is Romany and my family origins can be traced to a Caleb Lee of North Molton in the county of Devon 1640. There are still relatives in near by Dulverton The name is also connected with the names of Marshall and Lee in the area of Pontipridd and Ystradgynlais.Gypsy Rose worked most of her life at Barry Island

Sylvia Ashton
Hi Richard, My maternal grandmother was a Lee and my aunt always said we were connected to Gypsy Rose Lee. My grandmother's family lived in Wednesbury Staffordshire, but their father Thomas Lee came from the North Derbyshire Sheffield border. His grandfather Joseph Lee seemed to move about a lot between that area and Cannock. I have often wondered if what my aunt said was true and we are descended from Romanies. Do you know if any of Gypsy Rose Lee's family had connections in Staffordshire or Derbyshire? Sylvia

suzy lee murdock
lee my middle name.............. :)

my surname was lee family came from fulman than moved to barnet in 1887 hope. it is romany its so hard to trace.

Did you mean FULHAM? If so my Mum's maiden name was Lee. She was one of 9 children and all from Fulham.

sharon o'rahilly was lee
hi peter yes from one of the birth certs a grand uncle was born in Fulham then moved to barnet,

Lee is a common Romany name. Perhaps the best known Lee was 'Gypsy Rose Lee', if that was her real name!

Ms. Plum
It wouldn't do to have a registry of romanized Chinese surnames because--as already mentioned by a poster, above--the romanizations of Chinese surnames was done rather arbitrarily. You'd have to search by the written Chinese character. My last name is Lee (Chinese) and the Chinese character for it is made up of the characters for "wood" and for "child." Apparently the meaning of the whole is "plum," which I didn't even know until I read the earlier post!

Matt Sears
My name is Matt Sears, I am currently coordinating research into the Romany Community of Britain. As part of this study we will be taking DNA samples from males who carry documented Romany surnames, Lee being one of those chosen. The research has full ethical approval and the results will be accessible online towards the end of the study. If your Lee paternal ancestry has Romany origins and you can provide some detail of your male line back to 1900 or thereabouts we would be interested in sending you a kit through the post. The study is free, the results will help us better understand the origins of Britain 19s Romany community. Looking forward to hearing from you.

Stella Osborne
I have traced my Lee roots back to Benjamin Lee born 1815 in Bristol, are you still doing research

Matt Sears
Hi Stella, yes we are, would be interested in your Lee's if they are from a Romany background. Might be better sending me an email. Regards, Matt

Jeffrey S. Lee
Hi Matt- I am a Lee that is a collateral descendant of Rob't. E. Lee, and was wondering if I could participate in the DNA study---Jeff:)

Richard G May
Hi Matt in trying to research details of a richard lee i noticed this blog. my ancestry on a female line goes back to a Caleb Lee a romany living in the North Molton area of Devon. can i suggest that to get male DNA it would be adviseable to research the area around North Molton, Bampton and Dulverton on the somerset devon border. I know that there are several males living in that area that has a direct connection to this blood line. my fathers cousin lives in dulverton, she is in constant contact with Lee realtives. Also my great great Aunt was a rosamund maud lee. the lady who was commonley known as Gypsy Rose

Chuck Lee
I am a Lee living in Canada by my great-grandfather Lee emigrated from Cork, Ireland in the 1800's

Hi Matt, can we have your email address then?

Ruth Lee
Hello there, my name is Ruth Lee my father was romany, and I was brought up in a house , but spent a lot ofmy childhood,, going around different parts of the country visiting relatives, in fields,sideof roads,my dad was actually born in a traditional vardo in 1923. I have been really interested on tracing his family tree, i have been on all the obvious websites but can find nothing. If you have any sugestions I would be really interested in hearing from you.

Sandy Green
Hi my name is Sandy and my Grandmother was a Lee and a lot of my relations. I can not seem to find the Romany connection. My father can remmeber as a young boy being introduce as family to Romany travellers that visited there family home from time to time. The story was that my Grandmother was pregnant to a commoner ( none Romany )and was asked to leave her Romany family and my Grandfather took her in and married her. They all seem to have very dark thick curly hair and olive skin, including my father. I have found that they started out living in Tipton Staffordshire England early 1800`s, Then moved to WEST BROMWICH West Midlands England and Then to Audley, Staffordshire, England. I know my Dad would take a blood test to find out the truth as a lot of the family denie it and we would love to know as we all have itchy feet, love to travel and are very keen to find other members of our Lee family. My Emai address is if anyone can give me any help it would be greatly appreciated. Please put in title Lee Family then I know it is not a hoaxe email. These are a few of my ancestor. Annie Lee – 1887 (My Grandmother) , Agnus Lee – 1891,Charles Henrey lee – 1884 Eliza lee – 1854, Eliza Ann lee – 1886, Elizabeth Betty Lee – 1922 Elizabeth Lee – 1879, Elizabeth lee – 1887, Ellen Nellie Lee – 1916 Hannah lee – 1851, Harriet Lee – 1893, Jack Lee – 1910, Jerrimiah Lee – 1884, John Lee – 1882, John lee – 1865, Joseph lee – 1859, Josiah Lee – 1889,Josiah lee – 1866, Josiah lee – 1887 - 1981 Lilly(twin) Lee – 1926, Lucy(twin) Lee – 1926, Margaret Lee – 1917 Mary Lee – 1912, Samuel lee – 1862, Sarah Lee – 1885, Wilfred Lee – 1906 - 1909, William Lee – 1851, William Lee – 1874, William lee – 1827, William Lee – 1806, Wilson(twin) Lee – 1919 Winifred(twin) Lee – 1919

kerrie lee
hi i am a lee with romany gypsy back ground iv got pictures of my great granddad how was born in an old wooden grandad was born a gypsy but gourged in to a house,he died when my dad was young so dont know to much but would love to find any relatived.i would love any web sites you could advice me to surch to help me id be greatful

kerrie lee
my email address is thanks

kelly (Lee)
hiya my dads originally from scotland paisley and his name is hughie robertson lee

Rona Gibson
Hi My Great Great Grandmother was Elizabeth Lee she Married a Thomas Dath and had a son John Dath can anyone help with anything on family

and about 78% of Korean population share 20 last names out of 286 and 1/5 of korean population has last name Kim and 9% of korea population has last name Kim that originated from Kim-Hae

yeah every korean surnames are just surnames.(i'm not sure if it applies to chinese or japanese names but i believe it does) it is hard to find any meanings related to the surnames although it has meaning itself except some particular names like Wang(meaning King, which was given by the king) Every surnames has its own meaning but it is not related with last names. for example, Kim has two meanings itself one is Gold and the other one is just representing the last name. But not every people who has names Kim is related. some are originated from Kimhae(City in Korea) some are originated from kyung joo(City in Korea)

"LEE" for chinese, vietnamese, or korean ancestry is simply a translation of the original name. Historically, at the customs / immigration station, the agent would ask for the immigrant's name and try his best to convert that to english. Over the years, there has been some standardization, but there is still much variety in how it gets translated. That is why there is such a wide variance in how it is written "Li, Le, Lee, Ly". And for someone with the english translated surname of "LEE", the original ethnic name could be totally different, the relation only that they sound similar in the native tongue. So, two people may have zero ancestrial association, but share the same LEE surname.

i believe that the asian variation of the surname comes from the english one originally.

I believe you are wrong. The surname Lee has been in existence long before the 7th century. Pronounced in Mandarin is still Lee.

bruce lee was cool though, but i don't think he had anglo-saxon roots though! so probably need an asian database for him, heard he was half german though (horny german sailor in hong kong)!

jim ed

My Grandfather was joe walter lee from saline County, Arkansas. He died in 1966 & with the passing of my father in 1999, that is as far back that I can find on my grandfather. If you have any info it would be great! I also found the last name lee is irish & from county Galway in Ireland.

David Atchison
I agree look up Chan.. CHen, Wang etc. OK they should just say this is for Anglo-European names and be done with it.