Is there a Lees of Virginia Project?

+5 votes
Several members of my family have claimed my 4th g-grandmother, Deidamia Lee, was a cousin of Robert E. Lee. There is no documentation I can find to support this. Others on claim she was the daughter of the famous John Lee and his wife Hannah Ludwell. Again, sketchy proof. There are several "Lees of Virginia" listing a number of people who have taken DNA test and listing the results on GEDMatch. My autosomal test does not match. Has anyone here done research on the famous Lees and/or are related to them with DNA testing? Any help would be appreciated. - Sharen
in The Tree House by Sharen Moon G2G2 (2.7k points)
retagged by Robin Lee
Sharen,  I lived in King George County, Virginia (very close to Stratford Hall, where Robert E Lee was born) for many years.  Many descendants of the Lee family live in that area and several belong to the King George County Historical Society and are also avid genealogists.  The historical society has a research library and members would be happy to assist you if you contact them.  Good Luck!
Hot topic.  Wear asbestos-lined bulletproofs.
Thanks! I know!! ;-)
Thanks, Gaile!!

Yes, I suspect that this problem is true for me.  I grew up with my father telling me that we came down through "Ephrom" (spelled phoneticly) Lee and related to Robert E. Lee.  I no longer believe it.  

I would love to take a DNA test.  I would appreciate a recommendation.

I found records of my father (or what seems to be his records) in the US Panama Canal Zone in the 1940 census.  My father lied about his age to get into the Army.  My father's name was Harvey and born in Clyde or Tiffin Ohio.  He had a sister "Mable" and an older brother "George".  They were "Dunkards" (German Baptists).  

I am 64.  My parents died with I was 22 and 23.  I was the youngest born to the youngest in my parents' families.  I have never met most of my relatives, but I would love to be in contact with anyone distantly related.

Wiow!  I had no idea this Family Lineage was so controversal.  I can understand how some families could have adopted the name out of respect for the General. We had a local man named “Robert E” and joked that he was named after the General.

Last month I finally arranged a tour of Genersl Lee’s home—General Stephen Dill Lee.  He is one of my favorit generals, mainly because he was the first president of what is now Mississippi State Univ.  He msrried a Blewitt(sp?) after the war snd eventually inherited a home in Columbus, MS.  I had to ssk the tour guide if he was related to THE LEE. His answer was not directly but their famiky line converges 200 years previous.  The have an original daurreutype photo of 3 West Point cadets whose identity has been cinfirmed by West Point archives as JEB Stuart, Strephen D Lee and Custis Lee. The guide said Custis and Stephen were roommates. And Robert E Lee was Superintendant if the Academy. It would be logical that Custis invited Stephen D Lee home for dinner, etc.

4 Answers

+5 votes
The Lees of Virginia are pretty much covered by other projects, such as Notables, 1776, Civil War, etc.   A lot of work has been done on this family due to a lot of "fabrication" of lineages over the years.   You may find that you are a part of one of those lineages.

I, too, was told about a "relationship" to the Virginia Lees which started me on my genealogical journey.   I have proven that we are NOT related, only to be confirmed later by DNA.

I will warn you that autosomnal DNA results in this family are so skewed by fabricated lineages that I would not use it.   My brother and several 2nd and 3rd cousins have done YDNA, and when you compare their DNA to other test takers with valid Virginia Lee lineages, there is no relationship.   The DNA issue is part of the HOT topic that RJ refers to.   If you need some help with research, let me know.   I have done alot of Lee research.
by Robin Lee G2G6 Pilot (643k points)
Thanks, Robin! I realize this is a hot topic because my family gets riled up about it. I am concerned because John Lee was added as the father of Deidamia (not by me). I am now listed as a profile manager for John Lee and I don't want to be unless I am related. What to do. Thanks for the offer on research!!!
+3 votes
I have ancestors in the Lee family from New York.  Capt.. Thomas Lee served in the Revolutionary war.  Family "stories" are that they descend from the same Lee family in England.  I know that the Virginia Lees are well covered by other projects but a larger study on the Lees would be interesting to me.
by Caryl Ruckert G2G6 Pilot (189k points)

Family stories would say that, yes, they all do, it's inevitable.

But Lee with that spelling is the 25th commonest name in the UK.  There are many unrelated families with the name.  Spelling isn't indicative, as all the spellings tend to turn up in all the families.

Statistically there would probably have been over 100 early immigrants, representing many families.  But all the descendants think their immigrant came from Shropshire.  Not realising that there's never been any evidence to connect the famous Virginia family to the Shropshire family.


Thanks for your reply.  Good to know. :)
Thanks, RJ for your reply!
+3 votes
Have you checked out the Society of the Lees of Virginia?
by Philip Lee G2G Rookie (290 points)
Yes, thanks! Their bio of Lee descendants is good!!
(But be aware that there are rival sites, and they have axes to grind, eg hooking up their own ancestor, and connecting to Adam and Eve)
+1 vote
I can attest to the fact that more work needs to be done on the extended Lee family. Just a short time ago I was able to connect actor Lee Marvin to Robert E Lee.

Lee Marvin is in fact descended from Robert E Lee's Uncle.  Just what I saw on that particular branch that, of Robert E Lee's uncle, alot more can be done.
by Craig Albrechtson G2G6 Mach 8 (84.7k points)

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