Transferred use of the surname, in origin a local name from any of numerous places so called from Old English lēah ‘wood, clearing’. In the United States, it is sometimes chosen in honour of the great Confederate general Robert E. Lee (1807–70). As a girl's name it is commonly used in compounds such as Casey-Lee and Jamie-Lee.
English: probably a habitational name from a lost or unidentified place with a name such as Gil(l)sthorp(e), the first element being on Old English or Old Norse personal name, the second being Old Norse þorp ‘hamlet’, ‘settlement’, or possibly an Anglicized form of a Danish habitational name from Gelstrup or Gølstrup in Jutland. The surname is found in SC, GA, and TX.