• 1) The surname LEA, including the common alternate spelling LEE,was originally given to a person who lived in or near a "laye," Middle English meaning 'clearing in the woods.'
  • 2) Possibly a modern form of the ancient Irish name "O'Liathain.".

Surname Origin:

English, Irish

Alternate Surname Spellings:

Lea, Leigh

What does the name mean?

Last Name: Lee
  • English: topographic name for someone who lived near a meadow or a patch of arable land, Middle English lee, lea, from Old English lea, dative case (used after a preposition) of leah, which originally meant "wood" or "glade".
  • English: habitational name from any of the many places named with Old English leah "wood", "glade", as for example Lee in Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hampshire, Kent, and Shropshire, and Lea in Cheshire, Derbyshire, Herefordshire, Lancashire, Lincolnshire, and Wiltshire.
  • Irish: reduced Americanized form of Laoidhigh "descendant of Laoidheach", a personal name derived from laoidh "poem", "song" (originally a byname for a poet).


  Great great great great great great grandmother

Born, England.

Died, England


  Great great great great great grandmother

Born 1771, England.

Father William LEE.

Convicted of the theft of a cloak from her employer.

Sentenced in Lancashire, 1790. Sentenced to 7 yrs.

She spent 1 yr in jail before coming to Australia.

Arrived 9 Jul 1791, aboard the Mary Ann.

Married Thomas EATHER, 1791, NSW, Australia.

Died 1860, NSW, Australia.