The Lee family boasts perhaps the most distinguished ancestry on record, having provided, for example, greater numbers of Revolutionary and Civil War generals and officers, politicians, and statesmen than any family of comparable size and standing. Colonel Richard Lee, Secretary of the Colony of Virginia and presumably a Counsellor to King Charles, was the progenitor of the Virginia Lees and was himself descended from the Coton branch of the Lees of Shropshire. The purpose of this volume is to collect and preserve in permanent form the history of Colonel Lee’s posterity, believing that such a record will add something of interest to American history.
The arrangement of this exhaustive work is as follows: the life of Colonel Lee is traced as well as existing records would allow, with each of his children and grandchildren and succeeding descendants being treated in like manner. As only three of the immigrant’s sons have been proven to have left surviving male issue in Virginia, and as the issue of these three sons form three distinct lines of descent, they are treated separately. Under the notice of each head of a family, the names of his children are given, numbered in the order of their birth. Whatever is known as to unmarried sons, and as to all daughters, is given with their parents. That equal prominence might be given to maternal ancestry, brief sketches of the parentage of wives of the Lees of the older generations are added.
The records upon which these sketches are based have been taken from wills, deeds, family Bibles, tombstone inscriptions, and similar authorities. Coats of arms or other heraldic representations are reproduced throughout the work wherever it was possible to determine that such coat-armor was actually used. Other textual illustrations, of which there are more than thirty full-page portraits alone, are derived from family portraits, miniatures, engravings, and photographs.
No individual, no institution, no library with an interest in American history and genealogy ought to be without a copy of this illuminating and inspiring family history.