My maiden name is A'Lee, I'm from the family in Cornwall that Wendy Daxon mentioned. The family name was originally Allee but in the 18th Century the apostrophe was added. There was, according to family legend, a dispute over land between brothers, the victorious brother added the apostrophe to his name. There is another family in Week St. Mary in Cornwall, sometimes their name is spelt Allee sometimes Aleigh. As far as I know there is no connection between this family and my family in the Polperro area of Cornwall. Another family legend says that we are descended from a Spanish sailor, I think the French connection is more likely, particularly considering the close links between Cornwall and Brittany. Cornish and Breton are two very closely linked languages so there wouldn't have been that much of a language barrier.Janet A'Lee has trace the family back t 1543 and hopefully one day between us we will get to the bottom of the mystery.