Society of the Lees of Virginia


Collection, 1771-1989
Box 264, 79 boxes, (38 linear ft.)

Biographical/Historical Note: The Society of the Lees of Virginia was established in 1921 by Cazenove Gardner Lee, Jr. and other members of the Lee family in order to: "...promote a better knowledge of the patriotic services of the Lee Family of Virginia to their country, to assist in the compiling of matter concerning periods of state, national and Lee family history; to mark, preserve, and restore historic sites of family interest; to draw together the widely scattered members of the Lee Family; to promote a wider feeling of fellowship among its members by means of social gatherings, pilgrimages and commemorative exercises." (From the Articles of Incorporation of the Society of the Lees of Virginia, 1961).

The membership is composed of descendants of Col. Richard Lee, "The Emigrant," who settled in York County, Virginia, by 1642.

Eleanor Lee Templeman (1906-1990), a Northern Virginia author, genealogist, and historian, assembled much of this collection.   Her writings and correspondence capture the activities and interests of the Society, as well as the genealogy of the Lees.  

Scope and Content Note: This collection documents the family history of Lees in Virginia, especially to the Lees related to Richard Lee the Emigrant. There are extensive series of files by names of individuals with the surname of Lee, by surnames of other families which intermarried with the Lees, and by names of properties associated with these families. Other major series cover the English ancestry of the Lees, antique objects associated with the Lees, and the records of the Society of the Lees of Virginia. There are files on dozens of related families, but the Goldsborough and Boothe families are particularly well represented. The photograph collection provides portraits of many of the Lees as well as pictures of Lee homes and other related subjects.

Other formats include: correspondence, letters, maps, genealogical charts, books, periodicals, newspaper and magazine clippings, business records, index cards, completed membership applications, brochures, booklets, prints, reports, court records, property records, histories.

Arrangement: The collection is divided into a series of general topics within which the files are arranged alphabetically and chronologically. Series I American History;   Series II Antiques;   Series III Boothe Collection;   Series IV English Ancestry of the Lees;   Series V Family Papers;   Series VI Lee Family History;   Series VII Leeland Collection;   Series VIII Property Records;   Series IX Society of the Lees of Virginia Records;   Series X Unrelated Lees;   Series XI Miscelleneous;   Series XII Index Card Files;   Series XIII Photographs

Finding aid: A detailed guide, index, and folder list is available.

Related Materials: Copies of the meeting minutes and other records of the Society of the Lees of Virginia in manuscript boxes 60 - 60A. Eleanor Lee Templeman Collection, Box 61, etc.   Articles on the Lee family in three volumes by Eleanor Lee Templeman. See also many books and articles on the Lee family, and biographies on individual Lees.

Source/Donor and Date: On loan from the Society of the Lees of Virginia, 1981.

Subjects: Boothe family;   Goldsborough family;   Lee family;   Templeman, Eleanor Lee, 1906-1990

Mike Henry, Summer Intern, 1992

For additional information, please visit The Society of the Lees of Virginia website


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