Lee History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

As a native Irish surname, Lee is derived from the Gaelic name Mac Laoidhigh, which comes from the word "laoidh," which means "a poem;" or from Mac Giolla Iosa, which means "son of the devotee of Jesus." However, Lee is also a common indigenous name in England, many families of which have been established in Ireland since at least the 17th century.

Early Origins of the Lee family

The surname Lee was first found in Connacht (Irish: Connachta, (land of the) descendants of Conn), where they were prominent in the west being anciently associated as hereditary physicians to the O'Flahertys. The McLees or McAlees were traditionally doctors or physicians. By the 16th century different branches had developed in Galway, in Leix, and in Munster at Cork and Limerick. The name in Gaelic was O'Laidhigh.

Important Dates for the Lee family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Lee research. Another 121 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1253, 1600, 1650, and 1734 are included under the topic Early Lee History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Lee Spelling Variations

Those scribes in Ireland during the Middle Ages recorded names as they sounded. Consequently, in this era many people were recorded under different spellings each time their name was written down. Research on the Lee family name revealed numerous spelling variations, including McAlea, McAlee, MacAlee, MacAlea, MacLee, McLee, MacLees, McLees, MacLeas, McLeas, O'Lees, O'Leas, Lee and many more.

Early Notables of the Lee family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Lee Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Lee migration to the United States

A massive amount of Ireland's native population left the island in the 19th century for North America and Australia in hopes of finding more opportunities and an escape from discrimination and oppression. A great portion of these migrants arrived on the eastern shores of the North American continent. Although they were generally poor and destitute, and, therefore, again discriminated against, these Irish people were heartily welcomed for the hard labor involved in the construction of railroads, canals, roadways, and buildings. Many others were put to work in the newly established factories or agricultural projects that were so essential to the development of what would become two of the wealthiest nations in the world. The Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s initiated the largest wave of Iris immigration. Early North American immigration and passenger lists have revealed a number of people bearing the name Lee or a variant listed above:

Lee Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Bridget Lee, who landed in America in 1620 [1]
  • Samuel Lee, who arrived in America in 1620 [1]
  • Tryphasa Lee, who landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1623 [1]
  • Tryphosa Lee, who arrived in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1623 [1]
  • William Lee, who arrived in Virginia in 1633 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Lee Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Pricilla Lee, who arrived in Virginia in 1700 [1]
  • Hump Lee, who landed in Virginia in 1700 [1]
  • Eliz Lee, who landed in Virginia in 1705 [1]
  • Bryan Lee, who landed in Virginia in 1711 [1]
  • Philip Lee, who landed in Virginia in 1712 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Lee Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Charles Lee, who arrived in New York in 1800 [1]
  • Arthur Lee, who landed in America in 1801-1802 [1]
  • Ezekiel Lee, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1802 [1]
  • Ephraim Lee, aged 26, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1803 [1]
  • Edward Lee, aged 23, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1803 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Lee Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Sol N Lee, who arrived in New York, NY in 1900 [1]
  • Halvor Olson Lee, who landed in Wisconsin in 1907 [1]

Lee migration to Canada

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Lee Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Benjamin Lee, who landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1749-1752
  • Edward Lee, who landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1749-1752
  • Mr. Daniel Lee Sr., U.E. (b. 1754) born in Worcester, England from Pembroke, Maine, USA who settled in St. George, Charlotte County, New Brunswick c. 1784 married to Martha Ash they had 9 children, he died in 1818 Bonny River, New Brunswick [2]
  • Mr. David Lee U.E. who settled in Bastard [Rideau Lakes], Leeds and Greenville, Ontario c. 1784 [2]
  • Mr. Edward Lee U.E. who settled in Parr Town, Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Lee Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • William Lee, who landed in Canada in 1829
  • Sarah Lee, aged 26, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the ship "Britannia" from Sligo, Ireland
  • Daniel Lee, aged 27, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the ship "Britannia" from Sligo, Ireland
  • Judith Lee, aged 10, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the ship "Elizabeth" from Galway, Ireland
  • Andrew Lee, aged 20, a smith, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Salus" in 1833
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Lee Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
  • Mrs. Lee, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1907
  • Miss E Lee, who landed in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1907
  • Miss F Lee, who landed in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1907
  • H Lee, who landed in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1907
  • J Lee, who landed in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1907

Lee migration to Australia

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Lee Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Benjamin Lee, English convict from Surrey, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on May 17, 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [3]
  • John Lee, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on May 17, 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [3]
  • Benjamin Lee, a hatter, who arrived in New South Wales, Australia sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Henry Lee, English convict from Surrey, who was transported aboard the "America" on April 4, 1829, settling in New South Wales, Australia [4]
  • Ms. Cecilia Lee (b. 1813), aged 18, Cornish settler convicted in Cornwall, UK on 24th March 1831, sentenced for life for stealing from James Tom, transported aboard the ship "Mary" on 9th June 1831 to Van Diemen's Land, Tasmania, Australia [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Lee migration to New Zealand

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Lee Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Walter Lee, who landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1840
  • Michael Lee, aged 20, a sawyer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Cuba" in 1840
  • James Lee, aged 30, a farmer, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Mary Ann" in 1842
  • Elizabeth Lee, aged 26, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Mary Ann" in 1842
  • Mr. John Lee, Cornish settler travelling from Launceston aboard the ship "Marys" arriving in New Zealand in 1848 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Lee (post 1700)

  • Robert Edward Lee (1807-1870), American and Confederate soldier, best known as a commander of the Confederate States Army
  • Nelle Harper Lee (1926-2016), American author who received the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 for her only novel "To Kill a Mockingbird" and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom of the United States in 2007 for her contribution to literature
  • Mark Owen Lee (1930-2019), American classics and music scholar and Roman Catholic priest
  • Stan Lee (1922-2018), American chairman of Marvel Comics and creator of such legendary comic book heroes as Spiderman, The Incredible Hulk, and Dr. Strange
  • Edwin Mah Lee (1952-2017), American politician and attorney, 43rd Mayor of San Francisco (2011-2017)
  • Katie Lee (1919-2017), American folk singer, writer, actress, photographer and environmental activist
  • Kent Liston Lee (1923-2017), American Vice Admiral of the United States Navy, Commander of the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN-65) during the Vietnam War
  • Joan Clayton Boocock Lee (1921-2017), British-American hat model and actress, wife of Stan Lee, voice actress for Spider-Man and Fantastic Four in the 1990s
  • Sheila Jackson Lee (b. 1950), American Democrat politician, Municipal judge in Texas, 1987-90; U.S. Representative from Texas 18th District, 1995-; Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Texas, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008 [7]
  • Jack Ross "Jacky" Lee (1939-2016), American AFL quarterback who played from 1960 to 1969
  • ... (Another 32 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Historic Events for the Lee family

Empress of Ireland
  • Mr. Sydney Lee, British Cook from United Kingdom who worked aboard the Empress of Ireland and survived the sinking [8]
  • Mrs. Ethel Mary Lee (1892-1914), née Durham Canadian Third Class Passenger from Weyburn, Saskatchewan, Canada who was traveling aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking [8]
  • Miss Ailse Holland Lee (1891-1914), Canadian First Class Passenger from Toronto, Ontario, Canada who survived the sinking on the Empress of Ireland [8]
Halifax Explosion
  • Mr. John Francis  Lee (1917-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [9]
  • Mrs. Mary Murphy  Lee (1888-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [9]
  • Mr. Russell  Lee (1888-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [9]
HMS Hood
  • Mr. Wilfred Lee (b. 1913), English Assistant Steward serving for the Royal Navy from Norton, County Durham, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [10]
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. William Lee, British Able Seaman from, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [11]
  • Mr. John Lee, British Able Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [11]
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. Robert Lee, British Leading Telegraphist, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [12]
HMS Royal Oak
  • John H. Lee, British Signalman with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he survived the sinking [13]
RMS Lusitania
  • Mr. William Lee, English Trimmer from England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking [14]
  • Mr. Daniel Lee, Irish Fireman from Liverpool, England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking and was recovered [14]
  • Mr. Richard  Lee, English First Waiter from West Derby, Liverpool, England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking [14]
  • Miss Bridget Lee, Irish 2nd Class passenger residing in New York, New York, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking [15]
RMS Titanic
  • Mr. H. Lee (d. 1912), aged 18, English Trimmer from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [16]
  • Mr. Reginald Robinson Lee, aged 41, English Lookout from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping on life boat 13 [16]
  • Mr. Ling Lee (d. 1912), aged 28, Chinese Third Class passenger from Hong Kong who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [16]
  • Mr. Bing Lee, aged 32, Chinese Third Class passenger from Hong Kong who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking in collapsible C [16]
USS Arizona
  • Mr. Carroll Volney Lee Jr., American Seaman First Class from Texas, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [17]
  • Mr. Henry Lloyd Lee, American Seaman First Class from South Carolina, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [17]

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Citations

  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  2. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  3. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Albion voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1823 with 200 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/albion/1823
  4. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 26) America voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1829 with 176 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/america/1829
  5. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 30th May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_australia_convicts.pdf
  6. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  7. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2017, April 12) Sheila Lee. Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  8. ^ Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 17) . Retrieved from http://www.empress2014.ca/seclangen/listepsc1.html
  9. ^ Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from https://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca/what-see-do/halifax-explosion/halifax-explosion-book-remembrance
  10. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm
  11. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  12. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html
  13. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html
  14. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 7) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/
  15. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 6) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/
  16. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html
  17. ^ Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from http://pearl-harbor.com/arizona/casualtylist.html
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