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Origins of the Lee surname

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What does the name Lee mean?

The surname Lee has a number of different roots. Lee is internationally seen in names from Asia (particularly Korea), but in the English-Speaking world it most often derives from the Old English word 'leah' (a forest clearing or meadow), and would be given to someone who lives at or near one of these geographical features.

Alternative variations of the name Lee

Lee, Lea, Legh, Leigh, Ley, Lees

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Delve deeper into the Lee family's history

Where do most Lees live?

In 1921, most Lees lived in London.


Census records trace your ancestors through each generation, so you can follow where your relatives lived through each decade.

Interesting facts about Lees

How common is your surname?

49th most common surname in the UK

We have 511,000 records for the Lee surname. The oldest one dates back to 1196.

Who were Lees most likely to marry?

Smiths

&

Johnsons

Our Marriage record sets tell us which families married Lees.

What are the most common Lee first names?

  • John
  • William
  • Mary
  • Elizabeth

Our birth record sets tell us the names of Lee family members

Common jobs for Lees

Men and women often performed different types of jobs, so these are displayed by gender to maintain their historical accuracy.

Common Female occupations for Lees in 1921
Dressmaker

1,972

Cotton Weaver

1,342

Laundress

1,285

Domestic Servant

1,070

General Servant Domestic

959

Common Male occupations for Lees in 1921
Coal Miner

2,114

General Labourer

2,023

Agricultural Labourer

1,766

Farmer

1,381

Farm Labourer

1,136

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Census records provide incredible detail on names, ages, marital statuses, occupations and more.

We found over 1,300,000 family trees with the Lee surname

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