The surname Lee is of English, Irish and Chinese origin. When found in the British Isles the name Lee has a number of origins. It can denote someone who lived near a "laye" from the Middle English term meaning a clearing in the woods. Lee can also be a modern translation of the Gaelic "O'Liathain" Lee may also come from the many towns and villages in England names Lee or Leigh. Lee in Chinese means plum tree and Lee was the Royal surname during the Tang dynasty. Bearers of the name Lee of Chinese heritage may use the ancient family symbol or 'chop' for the name Lee, image on right.
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