Lee surname history

In appearance Lee is a common English name, used either for a person who lived near a pasture or meadow, from the Old English lea, or for a person from one of the many places so called, such as Lea in Shropshire, and many bearing the name in Ireland today will be descended from English settlers. In the majority of cases, however, Lee is the anglicised version of a number of original Irish names: O Laoidhigh, from laoidheach, meaning "poet" or "poetic", which arose separately in Connacht in west Galway, and in the south in the Cork/Limerick area, and Mac Laoidhigh, ("McLee") from the same stem, which is found in Co. Laois. In Ulster Mac an Leagha ("McAlee"), was also sometimes anglicised as Lee, as was, in Co. Monaghan, Mac an Giolla Eachaidh "(McCloy"). The most historically notable of the families were the O'Lees of Galway, powerful subchieftains under the O'Flahertys.

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