Lee Name Meaning

English: topographic name for someone who lived near a meadow or a patch of arable land, Middle English lee, lea, from Old English lea, dative case (used after a preposition) of leah, which originally meant ‘wood’ or ‘glade’. English: habitational name from any of the many places named with Old English leah ‘wood’, ‘glade’, as for example Lee in Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hampshire, Kent, and Shropshire, and Lea in Cheshire, Derbyshire, Herefordshire, Lancashire, Lincolnshire, and Wiltshire. Irish: reduced Americanized form of Ó Laoidhigh ‘descendant of Laoidheach’, a personal name derived from laoidh ‘poem’, ‘song’ (originally a byname for a poet). Americanized spelling of Norwegian Li or Lie. Chinese : variant of Li 1. Chinese : variant of Li 2. Chinese : variant of Li 3. Korean: variant of Yi.

Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press

Similar surnames: Lye, Lees, Lew, Leed, Gee, See, Leer, Ree, Lie, Ley

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Lee Ethnicity Estimate

What are the common regions with the Lee name?

These results combine data from everyone in the AncestryDNA® database with the last name Lee. The Ancestry® ethnicity regions shown are top five most common on average for these people.

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  • England & Wales


  • Ireland & Scotland


  • Germanic Europe


  • China


  • Cameroon, Congo, & Southern Bantu Peoples


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Lee Family Origin

Where is the Lee family from?

Lee Family Occupations

What did your Lee ancestors do for a living?

In 1881, the most common Lee occupation in the UK was Coal Miner. 3% of Lee's were Coal Miners. A less common occupation for the Lee family was Agricultural Labourer. Coal Miner, Labourer and Farmer were the top 3 reported jobs worked by Lee.

View Census data for Lee | Data not to scale

  • Coal Miner

  • Labourer

  • Farmer

  • Agricultural Labourer


Census records can tell you a lot of little known facts about your Lee ancestors, such as occupation. Occupation can tell you about your ancestor's social and economic status.

Lee Historical Records

What Lee family records will you find?

Census Record

There are 2 million census records available for the last name Lee. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Lee census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search 1891 UK census records for Lee

Passenger List

There are 478,000 immigration records available for the last name Lee. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in the UK, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

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Draft Card

There are 448,000 military records available for the last name Lee. For the veterans among your Lee ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

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You've only scratched the surface of Lee family history.

Lee Life Expectancy

What is the average Lee lifespan?

Between 1940 and 2004, in the United States, Lee life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1944, and highest in 2004. The average life expectancy for Lee in 1940 was 53, and 73 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Lee

An unusually short lifespan might indicate that your Lee ancestors lived in harsh conditions. A short lifespan might also indicate health problems that were once prevalent in your family. The SSDI is a searchable database of more than 70 million names. You can find birthdates, death dates, addresses and more.

Famous Lee Family Ancestors

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