What is this site for?

Discovering Lee Ancestors using DNA Testing from

This project began with an attempt to prove relations between male descendants of brothers James and Robert Lee, sons of James (b. c. 1690-dec'd. 1764) & Mary Lee (b. c. 1695-dec'd. 1756-'64) of Frederick Co., Md., who both ended up living their later years in Spartanburg Co., S.C. James jr.'s likely son, Amos Lee, lived on 150 acres of land sold him by James and Elenoer Lee (Jim's 2nd wife) in 1803, and just over the border in what was then known as Union District, S.C.

The founder of our project, Robert E. Lee jr., descended from this line. Doug Lee, another participant in this project descended from Robert Lee. Our DNA testing revealed a very near match alluding to a relation between the two family lines. This part of the project is now complete; next effort was to track down progeny of a third brother, John Lee-of Montgomery Co., Md.-and test at least one of them. We have yet to find anyone from this line.

The Lee project has now expanded greatly to all Lees, with now over 250 participants actively researching their Lee lines and using DNA as a tool to do so. You can see our Lee family breakdown on the YDNA Results Page.

We regularly share information and compare results with other Lee / Leigh testing projects around the world in an effort to ensure our participants have the broadest chance to match their Lee line, or eliminate other lines from research.

Please contact us with questions, or join us in this effort.

NOTE - We often get requests from females wishing to participate in the study. The nature of DNA testing for Genealogy using YDNA is that male lines are required for lineage test results - so for this test to be meaningful for you, we ask that any test participant be a male from a well-documented male line of Lees. Put another way, if your mother, grandmother was a Lee, and you do not have a living male from the Lee side of that line, testing here will not give you results we both need. Maternal DNA (ie: from a female Lee to next generations) is not the primary focus of our testing. You can learn more here on the Family Tree DNA site, or contact us with questions.


The Lees of VA are now part of our group. Think you are related to Robert E. Lee? Now you can know for sure by doing YDNA testing at Family Tree DNA and comparing yourself to this famous line. We have two participants both with certified male lineage to this famous line. Go to the YDNA Results page to see test results with the family group "Lees of VA. Richard the Immigrant / Robert E Lee lines". Do you match?


How do I make sense of all of this? What is YDNA and how is it used? What is genetic distance? Answers to common questions are here.

Getting Started

Interested in joining us to use DNA to help your Genealogy Research? Contact us. We require a brief summary of your line showing the male lineage and oldest known Lee male in your line (including birthdate, death date, locations). We'll only share the oldest known Lee publicly, but this is what helps everyone to make connections with other Lee researchers and family lines when matches come in.