Lee, ó Laoidhigh A Gaelic surname meaning descendant of Laoidheach meaning ‘songful, poetical’. A sept of Connacht who were chiefs of Ui Briuin Eola, they were erenaghs of Annadown, and hereditary physicians to the O’Flahertys. An English surname, a varient of Lea (also Leigh) from the many places so named meaning ‘dweller by the wood or clearing’. In 1890 Lee was chiefly found in Antrim, Dublin, Galway and Limerick, and the estimated number of bearers was 5,370. In the United States it is the 24th most numerous surname with an estimated 605,000 bearers. In England and Wales in 1996 it was the 35th most numerous surname.
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