Welcome to the Lees of Virginia Website
- also known as the Lees of VA -
there's much to see here.
So, take your time, look around, and learn all there is to know about the genealogy, history of the Lee family and associated research.
We hope you enjoy our site and take a moment to drop us a line.
The Genealogy, History, Descent and Ancestry of The Lee Family of Virginia, Finley Family History, and more.
This website and research is dedicated to the descendants and ancestral lineage of the Lee Family of Virginia:
Richard Lee I - the "Founding father" of the Lee Family of the Virginia Colony - Anne Constable wife of Col Richard Lee - "Lost Lineage of Stratford" - William Lee and Alice Felton descendants - Lee Ancestry Descending from Shropshire England - Lee Descendant DNA Project Page - and so much more!
Our Lee Ancestors ...
They gave us our heritage, and it is time we show them our gratitude and recognition for who they were. They were not saints - sometimes proving their point rather strongly - but most did live with an ethic that we would do well to remember today. They worked hard - and were rewarded for that, usually. They helped one another, and as families were orphaned - took in the children, extended their families - took care of their own. They did not think for an instant if this was something the government or someone else should do. To them, that was unthinkable. Family and neighbors shouldered responsibility and moved on. They moved westward, as pioneers - living and moving deeper and deeper into often hostile territory - to carve out civilization from nothing ...
Our Lee Ancestors ...
They built a Nation that is the envy of everyone else who did not follow their example. They despised all who lacked self-respect. They built churches and schools as they needed them, held barn raisings and worked harvest days that ended in "courting" parties, establishing new generations. What they did right we should still be doing; what they wrong we should learn from those mistakes.
They are an example of success in the face of disease and hardship.
We should and can learn from their examples and hardships - for they turned out the better from these trials...
As we all are as imperfect, like our Republic, we should strive to be more perfect with each passing day.
That is what I hope ...
Many of my Lee Cousins today proudly honor OUR Lee Heritage, regardless of past imperfections, and to them I Salute, I LOVE YOU ALL!
Genealogy Research and Information will always be freely available on our website and blog - we all need help from time to time to meet our costs.
Your support and contributions will enable us to continue our research and to fund our website, as well as helping others with their genealogy pro-bono. Thank you.
This Website is researched, created, and compiled by Jacqueli Finley, the site administrator.
My objective is to provide truthful and evidential Lee genealogy and history research to the benefit all Lee descendants of color, race, and creed - freely, publicly verifiable, and with transparency.
Some pages are in the process of being moved to this new platform from the old site as we are having to rebuild - thank you for your patience.
I have been and currently am working on a biographical novel on the life of Richard Lee and Anne Constable -
"Richard and Anne" by Jacqueli Finley ~ email@example.com
For hundreds of years, the descendants of Col. Richard Lee's son, William Lee, have been denied their heritage- denied their birthright by historians and scholars that refuse to allow the truth to be known, referring to the descendants of William Lee and his wife Alice Felton as the "lost Lineage of William Lee".
Because of past speculation that was considered as truths, and opinions that were published as facts by outdated references that have no proven documentation, as law that governs over who descends from Richard Lee and Anne Constable on 'majority rule' genealogy sites, and false Lee Y-DNA Project claims.
The denial of the William Lee line goes on even in these times because of false Lee Y-DNA Project claims, as the internet opens new frontiers of knowledge, as Federal Census records and documentation that was previously blocked from our view are now accessible - as birth, marriage and death publications are now available-making it possible to prove the existence of this lineage and that it does live on-through the thousands of GEDCOM files available on genealogy sites worldwide-- and even though the facts are there, the denial of these proud descendants goes on ...
And the denial of descendants goes beyond William Lee, it goes on to all lines, except for those associated with Ditchley, Cobb's, or Stratford, of white descent, which seem to be the only lines recognized at this time because of tainted Y-DNA projects, prejudiced genealogy sites, and non-sourced references!
Regarding the Lees of Virginia Family History and Genealogy:
In 1988, a study by William Thorndale was published in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly Vol 76 Dec 1988, he stated that his research proved that Col Richard Lee was actually the son of a John Leyes, a clothier, and his wife Jane Hancock and that Richard had been born not at of Coton Hall in Shropshire England, but in Worcester England. In this publishing, Thorndale presented what appeared to be legitimate sources and arguments which carefully and systematically dispelled the accepted ancestral lineage of Col Richard Lee from the prominent English Lee’s from Shropshire. Since that publishing, it appears that the majority of research today has adopted this parentage of Richard Lee from this John Lyes and Jane Hancock assertion, even though this 1988 publishing had overridden the legal and historic documented facts that stated otherwise. I have discovered that there is no evidence of historical documentation that can back up Thorndale's claim. Please see: Parents of Col Richard Lee (jacquelifinley.com) and Col Richard Lee's Parents.
REGARDING WIKITREE PROFILES FOR COL RICHARD LEE THE IMMIGRANT, JANE HANCOCK, JOHN LEYES:
There are misrepresentations of outdated research quoting me on Col Richard Lee and 'parents' per Wm. Thorndale's outdated research on such sites as WikiTree (and other online genealogy platforms) which use me as a reference for the outdated material. I currently revoke any and all endorsement of these references to the outdated research as I have found that John Leyes and Jane Hancock ARE NOT the documented parents as Wm Thorndale had presented in 1988 and AS MANY GENEALOGISTS HAD ACCEPTED based on those assumptive sources and Wm Thorndale's references in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly - William Thorndale's Publication of "Parents of Col Richard Lee of Virginia", Vol 76, December 1988, Page 253: Parents of Col Richard Lee of Virginia - SOURCES AND REFERENCES THAT DO NOT EXIST - as in my much earlier research I too once believed Thorndale was credible until I actually fact checked his findings through the UK Archives and found no such documentation existed as he presented which I am sure upsets many that I made this discovery.
My research On Colonel Richard Lee, The Immigrant:
NOTE: My DNA GEDMatch MRCA reports below also confirm the connection of Richard Lee (COL) being son of Richard (Richardus) Lee of Coton Hall (Shropshire Lees). Please see PDF DNA Reports below.
TIP: In Viewing DNA Surname GEDCOM MRCA Reports -
You can logon to GEDMatch and from the CMP links of the reports to view each DNA match to confirmed results and Jacqueli's direct ancestors per GEDCOM and MRCA matching through GEDMatch DNA donor kits available. NOTE: MRCA meaning "Most Recent Common Ancestor" between two or more DNA donors as the report tools locate the first common DNA ancestor matches.
We have an opportunity to start our own Lee DNA project for all lines from the
Lees of Virginia including lines with male line descent or female line descent to living descendants.
This will assist ALL Lee cousins and future generations! Many Lee descendants are getting confusing information and non-acceptance of DNA matches of descending lines from the Lees of Virginia.
This may be happening even when DNA has been confirmed to match to documented ancestry
to Col. Richard Lee and his wife Anne Constable.
Over 85% of Lee descendants are being denounced, and compared to DNA Haplogroups that may be questionable, or corrupted from a NPE within the DNA being used to compare the other descending lines.
We welcome all who wish to help make this a fair and honest Lee DNA Genealogy Project:
AN IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT LEE DNA PROJECTS AND GENEALOGY SITES AND LINEAGE HAPLOGROUP COMPARISONS:
The Lee Y-DNA Haplogroup claims for the Lees of Virginia lines from these Lee Y-DNA Projects Are NOT THE ABSOLUTE TRUTH !!!!! What has been claimed is 100% unverifiable and PROVABLY WRONG!!
THE CLAIMS THAT Col. Richard Lee, The Immigrant, progenitor of the Lees of Virginia lines are Y-DNA Haplogroup is M-253, or M-269, or ANY Y-DNA Haplogroup assigned to him or the LEE male ancestor lines - it is all speculative without his or the progenerating male Y-DNA available and publicly verifiable , regardless of what may be promoted - AND Y-DNA CAN NEVER TELL IF THERE HAS BEEN AN NON-PARENTAL EVENT (NPE) EVER IN AN ALL MALE LINE DESCENT REGARDLESS OF HOW WELL DOCUMENTED OR SOCIALLY ACCEPTED. That IS a scientific FACT.
My new information and research as I have presented now show adequate documentation proving up Col Richard Lee's parents - which publishing's and historic citing's claimed prior to Thorndale's assumptions - that factual evidence prove Richard Lee of Coton Hall (Richardus Lee) and Elizabeth Bendy were the parents on record for Col Richard Lee, which I do now endorse, as DNA from both male and female Lee descendants is proving as well, despite what 'others' associated with Lee Y-DNA projects may claim.
See how they disconnected and disregarded legitimate Lees of Virginia descendant lineages that had been thoroughly vetted and documented with the 'Y-DNA' projects unverifiable claims: Re: Proof of Lineage to Gen. R - Genealogy.com
What most would view as a 'conflict of interest' as these same Lee Y-DNA project administrator(s) not only analyzed the Y-DNA donated, but some were also instrumental in developing the Y-DNA software that did the analyzing and scrutinized the Y-DNA results from the male Lee descendant donations. Many of these individuals and entities profited from doing so when they erroneously assigned a male Y-DNA haplogroup to ALL Lees of Virginia lines from the male Y-DNA descendants of the Robert E Lee "CREW" knowing all the while that there could possibly be a non-parental event within those male descending lines that would nullify the results of their relation to Col Richard lee as Y-DNA cannot detect an NPE ever in a male descending line.
In doing this they not only flooded the genealogy world with a false Lee male Y-DNA Haplogroup narrative but caused irreversible harm to many legitimate LOV descendants that were told they were not LOV aligned but only 'Lee Wannabes' ...
DNA use in genealogy was a relatively new aspect in the early 2000's and most of us were excited about the possibilities. But most lack sophistication in regard to the applications and proper use of DNA in genealogy, even with the advancements in this field. Because of this lack of knowledge, it has been easy to take advantage of the situation by over stating the use of Y-DNA and over marketing as the ultimate in establishing the Lees of Virginia lines. It seems as if this did not matter as this misinformation spread like a wildfire and financial gains seemed to mean more to these newly appointed 'experts' than the truth in family history preservation.
Anyone can verify the limitations of Y-DNA, especially when the Y-DNA of the lineage progenitor is not verifiable, also when taking into account that Autosomal results show a relationship to these same descendants. But then that is when the credibility of Autosomal DNA is conjectured into the conversations. In some lineages outside of the complicate Lee family, male Y-DNA can be useful, but there should never be a disregard to the whole DNA value that all descendants of lineages, both male and female, can give us.
That there is, was, an NPE within the LOV lineages is most probable and likely (probably more than one as this happens) and why LINEAR DNA which includes DNA from both male and female descendants is more inclusive in result accuracy. What they did with assignment of a male Y-DNA Haplogroup to Col Richard lee was assumptive at best. It was - and remains so - an obvious money making opportunity as genealogy has become, in my humble opinion, and should be investigated further, instead of 'shooting the messenger' perhaps and the continuous harassment towards those who disagree with the 'consensus', as they argue for a 'peer' review within their groups, which is nearly impossible as they have disconnect the original Lees of Virginia lines of descent and no longer recognize them as such - how can they review DNA of what they declare non-existing?
Instead of providing publicly viewable verifiable Y-DNA + Documents + GEDCOMs of these "Lee Male Descendants" they use as the model for ALL Lee of Virginia Male Lines and Y-DNA Haplogroup, we receive word salads and non-verifiable 'proof' of the claims of 'mysterious' male Lee descendants that have never been named or publicly accessible DNA and with GEDCOMs on GEDMatch, as the most of us do, we get a non-existing link to non-sense:
"The comment regarding NPE in the line of male descent from Col. Richard Lee to Robert E. Lee is provably false, and has been removed; the Lee DNA project had tests from male-line descendants of Richard Lee II and of Hancock Lee, sons of Col, Richard Lee. These two (being related in the degree of seventh cousins, twice removed on their direct male line, according to their respective paper trails) were found to match on 42 out of 43 markers tested, indicating that the two testers share common ancestry within the genealogical timeframe, and to belong to haplogroup I1a (aka I-M253). See here." > This link goes nowhere ... BTW.
Again, I stress, nothing that has been said about the Y-DNA project, there being an NPE, as logical or verifiable in presentation of why there may or may not be a non-parental event within the Stratford and Ditchley lineages. In fact the key word in the above argument is "PROVEBLY" false, although nothing has been proven that there IS NOT an NPE. Absolutely no transparency.
Not only am I a Lees of Virginia descendant from more than one direct line from Col Richard Lee and Anne Constable, I am also a Carter direct descendant from both Carter lines associated with the LOVs. My Autosomal ancestors for the Stratford and Ditchley lines fall within the 8 generational degree of accuracy for MRCA DNA Autosomal matches.
And it is within these DNA cousin matches that we can tell there is a big problem with what the Y-DNA projects have claimed, and that those claims are false and that the claims of denied Lee descendants are true.
And probably why these opposing genealogy sites have now disconnected not only my LOV lines of descent from public view, but those of the majority of us.
Denise Carter nicely states these facts about the Carter/Lee DNA connections in which I agree with her comments fully:
"I run a Carter (R-M269) Y DNA project and I know at least four testers who learned that they are genetically part of the Carter family via Y-DNA testing and one Carter who learned he is genetically related to another family. All are part of a “non paternal event” (NPE). Besides the obvious reason, there are quite a few reasons why “new” Y-DNA ican be introduced into an established paternal line.
The Lees are genetically related to two different Carter families, namely the Thomas Carter (1630-1700) line which is part of the R-M269 STR haplogroup and the John Carter/Robert “King” Carter STR haplogroup, which, I believe, is the other one mentioned in this thread. Both Carter families crossed with each other plus the Lees, Randolphs and several other prominent Virginia families.
It’s difficult to sort out. Genealogy helps to map out the various paternal family branches forward to living male descendants. Then it’s down to figuring out which men to test so that the NPE can be mapped.
It should be noted that just because the Y-DNA does not appear to match what it’s supposed to, the living testers are still Lees, Carters, Randolphs, etc. And just because a living Lee tester’s Y-DNA is unexpected doesn’t mean that the two Lee ancestors aren’t related. The NPE could have happened at any time."
See bottom of page on John Lee DNA Discussions (wikitree.com) for Denise Carter's remarks.
I am a retired professional Genealogist, APG Member (Association of Professional Genealogists) and have over 40 years of genealogy experience and research.
As a professional genealogist,
I proudly abide by the code of ethics of the Association of Professional Genealogists as I undertake my genealogy and history research.
My genealogy sites and research (Copyrighted):
Jacqueli Finley's Genealogy Blog - https://jacquelifinley.com/
Lees of Virginia Website - https://leesofvirginia.org/
Wordpress Article - https://leesofvirginia.wordpress.com/2022/04/29/general-robert-edwa...
My Geni Proilfe link: Jacqueli Finley - Genealogy (geni.com)
GEDMatch DNA Kit #'s for Jacqueli Finley (I have several Kits because I had DNA tested from several labs) below I have listed a few of my kits:
A598504 Jacqueli Finley
T085103 Jacqueli Finley
T156944 Jacqueli Finley
T422504 Jacqueli Finley
T674682 Jacqueli Finley
GEDMatch Super Kit: NP070205C1
Most common surnames in my family DNA:
Surname List - Ady, Allen, Allerton, ALTMAN, Ambrose, Ball, Barnett, Beale, Beckworth, Benton, Bosworth, Bridge, Bryan, BRYAN, Camp, Campbell, CARTER, Combs, Constable, Dickerson, Egerton, Finley, Flint, Gresham, Griffin, Harrison, Hart, Hartsell, Hopkins, Howard, Hubbard, Ingersoll, Ingram, Johnson, Judd, Kendall, Kidd, Kidde, Lea, Lee, LEE, Lee, LEE, Lee, Leigh, Lindsey, Mary, Mauck, Mauk, McBee, McKeever, FELTON, Morgan, Murphy, Murray, Newton, Oney, Owens, Rains, Ritchey, Rochester, Shurbutt, Silk, Sloan, Smith, Steptoe, Taylor, Taliaferro, Westbrooks, White, Wilhelm, Williams, Wilson, Woodruff, Young
DNA CONFIRMATION REPORTS:
Viewing DNA Surname GEDCOM MRCA Reports -
You can logon to GEDMatch and from the CMP links of the reports to view each DNA match to confirmed results and Jacqueli's direct ancestors per GEDCOM and MRCA matching through GEDMatch DNA donor kits available. NOTE: MRCA meaning "Most Recent Common Ancestor" between two or more DNA donors as the report tools locate the first common DNA ancestor between DNA donors.
REGARDING MRCA DNA:
There are arguments being made that MRCA DNA reports and/or DNA ancestor matches are only as good as the documented lineage in an attempt to disparage GEDMatch or family finder Autosomal matches ... this is true as some have incomplete or erroneous information yet also applies to the lineages on Y-DNA projects as well since Y-DNA can NEVER detect a NPE (non-parental event) in any documented lineage, regardless of how well accepted by heritage societies that lineage may be.
FACT: IF THERE BE A NON-PARENTAL EVENT IN A LINEAGE that entire lineage and Y-DNA results will not be a valid match whatsoever to true DNA descendants Y-DNA, Autosomal DNA, or Mitochondrial DNA - and THAT is the main PROBLEM with the Lee Y-DNA project results and haplogroup assignments.
"What I Believe ...
American History is the foundation upon which our great Nation stands-the importance of integrity
and substance from which we thrive, and our patriotic pride derives.
It is what we are taught and what fills our heart and minds as we say our Pledge of Allegiance.
And at the beginning and woven throughout the pattern of time the Lee Family of Virginia
has been the common thread in history that has held so true … yet the fabric has been cut, torn, sown over, to hide the holes and discrepancies from the bad behaviors of some.
And even though corrections and recognition of William Lee's marriage to Alice Felton has now been publicly acknowledged by many... the lines from their children are still being purposefully denied ... as well as many Lee cousins inspite of knowing they descent from Lees of Virginia ancestors.
Divisiveness, instead of Unity and Accord, is what is being promoted.
Denial of the Truth, Denial of Heritage. And THAT is just WRONG!
This website is my labor of love to my ancestors, and to all of their descendants, my cousins of every race, color, and creed.
It once began as a quest for the true descending lines of Col. Richard Lee, and for the acknowledgement of these lines ... My attempt to right the wrongs that have been done in the past, and present, of efforts to erase family members of this proud lineage. This website is about the commitment to honor the members of the Lee Family, of those denied that right, yet know who they are and that they descend from Col Richard Lee.
This website is dedicated to the patriotism, courage of all our Lee family members and descendants,
regardless of how unpopular that may be to some opinions ...
This website is dedicated to revealing all the forgotten generations,
giving freedom to those who know of who they are from, but not believed...
I have tried to gather as much information as I can to share with others who may be researching their own family lines and ties to these ancestors.
I welcome all contributions that may assist those who are seeking their own roots.
The William Lee Descendants group are just one small part of the denial and non-acceptance of Lee lineages by associated 'Societies' and self-appointed authoritarians who oversee our genealogy, ancestry, and history.
My goal is to re-connect and acknowledge all Lees of Virginia lines and descendants, as it should be.
As many know and will attest as true, William Lee, son of Richard Lee and Anne Constable, did survive and marry; having children that created direct descendants to the Lee Family of Virginia line. The William Lee's descendants and reprinting of Edmund Jennings Lee's 1895 "Lees of Virginia" ... a corrected version with amendments, did establish some proof then even of the William Lee lineage existence, and other historical publications that acknowledge the marriage of William Lee, his marriage to Alice Felton, and their four children. These historical publications can easily be found at the Library of Congress under the category of Lee Family Genealogy and through other available genealogy archives. To understand the reasoning behind the controversy of the William Lee line stems from Mary Lee (Heath) daughter of William Lee and Alice Felton.
Then there are the false Y-DNA claims adding to the controversies.
Yet the William Lee lineage is just one aspect of the disconnect and false claims because of wrongful assertions from Lee Y-DNA Projects that many genealogists and genealogy website promote unfairly. There are many Lee descendants from the children of our Lee ancestors who came from mixed race. Some Lee children from mixed marriages were soon forgotten as those Lee families were cut off from their lines, and some from the mistreatment of the slaves that they wrongfully held against their will by our lee ancestors, as the lines from children
of Gen Robert E Lee, just to mention one.
This is website is dedicated to the preservation of the entire genealogical and historical lineage of the Lee Family tree and to share information to other researchers and family members.
A Non-Profit in honor of William Lee's namesake has been created to ensure that all research collected is protected and preserved for our Lee Generations to come, honoring OUR Lee Ancestors with being ever mindful of the future ..."
We view with pride our ancestors’ names.
The blood they have shed runs through our veins.
They fought to give us our freedom and liberty,
These Patriots we proudly display on our family trees.
The Founding Fathers of our Nation’s Pride,
They fought tyranny united, side by side.
Yet how would they view us if they were alive today?
Would they accept these circumstances, or would they dismay?
Or might they tell us that it is our responsibility?
Or tell us to uphold and protect the Constitution they fought for
that set us free.
Or would they pick up the ax to help chip away at the foundation this Nation was built.
Leaving our great Nation to corrupt and be reduced to silt.
Would they choose fortune over the future of us all?
And care not at this Nations fall?
I THINK NOT!!!!
I say to you, as they might say to me:
“YOU, The People, are the namesakes of OUR legacy!
It is up to YOU”, they might interject!
“Wake Up Americans!
Time is growing short, but it is not over yet …
We did change the past to better this land!
And together YOU can make change again - only if, You the People, take a stand!
Be the Lion, not the sheep!
Live your lives with eyes open, not half asleep!
For only United this Nation can remain standing, and Divided you will surely Fall!
The future of this Republic depends upon YOU ALL.
For ‘Ever mindful of the Future’ must be OUR creed,
Remembering always Don’t Tread on Me!"
~ Jacqueli C. Finley
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