Lee Family History
The ancient origin of the name Lee was found in the irishsurnames.com archives. Meaning 'at the lea', Lee is a locational name. Variants of the name include Lea, Leigh, Lees, Ley, Leye, Laye, Lye and Lay. This name is of Anglo-Saxon descent spreading to the Celtic countries of Ireland, Scotland and Wales in early times and is found in many mediaeval manuscripts throughout these countries. Examples of such are a Henry de la Lee, County Cambridgeshire, and a Roger de Lees, County Norfolk, who were recorded in the 'Hundred Rolls', England, in the year 1273. A Johannes lee, County Wiltshire, was recorded in the 'Poll Tax' of the West Riding of Yorkshire in the year 1379. In Ireland the name Lee is often derived from the native Gaelic MacLaoidhigh and MacAnLeagha Septs of North Connaught and County Cork respectively. These Gaelic names have a number of other anglicized forms including MacAlee, Leech and Logue. The O'Lees of Galway were hereditary physicians to the O'Flahertys.The Lee family crest (or coat of arms) came into existence many centuries ago. The process of creating these coats of arms began as early as the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this, including Ireland. The new more formalized art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own family crest, coat of arms, including Lee descendants.