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LEE - Name Meaning & Origin

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LEE Surname Meaning & Origin:

Lee is a surname with many possible meanings and origins:

1) The surname LEA, including the common alternate spelling LEE,was originally given to a person who lived in or near a laye, from the Middle English meaning "clearing in the woods."

2) Possibly a modern form of the ancient Irish name "O'Liathain."

3) LEE means "plum tree" in Chinese. Lee was the royal surname during the Tang dynasty.

4) A "place" surname taken from any of the various towns or villages named Lee or Leigh.

Lee is the 22nd most popular surname in America based on analysis of the 2000 census.

Surname Origin:

English, Irish, Chinese

Alternate Surname Spellings:

LEA, LEH, LEIGH, LAY, LEES, LEESE, LEIGHE, LEAGH, LI

Famous People with the Surname LEE:

Genealogy Resources for the Surname LEE:

100 Most Common U.S. Surnames & Their Meanings
Smith, Johnson, Williams, Jones, Brown... Are you one of the millions of Americans sporting one of these top 100 common last names from the 2000 census?

Lee DNA Surname Project
The purpose of this Lee DNA project is to bring together those genealogists who are researching the LEE surname and its variants (LEIGH, LEA, etc.), with an emphasis on the use of DNA testing.

Chinese Surname LI (LEE)
An interesting article on the origins of the LI surname in China, from The Australian Chinese Times.

Lee Family Genealogy Forum
Search this popular genealogy forum for the Lee surname to find others who might be researching your ancestors, or post your own Lee query. There is also a forum for the LEIGH surname.

FamilySearch - LEE Genealogy
Find records, queries, and lineage-linked family trees posted for the Lee surname and its variations.

LEE Surname & Family Mailing Lists
RootsWeb hosts several free mailing lists for researchers of the Lee surname.

Cousin Connect - LEE Genealogy Queries
Read or post genealogy queries for the surname Lee, and sign up for free notification when new Lee queries are added.

DistantCousin.com - LEE Genealogy & Family History
Free databases and genealogy links for the last name Lee.

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References: Surname Meanings & Origins

Cottle, Basil. Penguin Dictionary of Surnames. Baltimore, MD: Penguin Books, 1967.

Menk, Lars. A Dictionary of German Jewish Surnames. Avotaynu, 2005.

Beider, Alexander. A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from Galicia. Avotaynu, 2004.

Hanks, Patrick and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford University Press, 1989.

Hanks, Patrick. Dictionary of American Family Names. Oxford University Press, 2003.

Smith, Elsdon C. American Surnames. Genealogical Publishing Company, 1997.


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