I'm researching the history of a Merchant Marine steamship engineer named Martin Lee (born Galway, 1871). He is my great grandfather. Please, if anyone can offer any guidance, I would be very grateful.
Let me clarify— Anecdotally, according to family lore, he was a Merchant Marine, and served mainly (or often) on ships traveling between the U.S. and the Far East. On the censuses of 1910 and 1920, he claims to be a steamship engineer in the U.S. Navy. Apparently, this was his lifelong occupation. However, there appears to be no record of his service. Nor can I find any record of him aboard any vessel during that era.
I have mainly searched passenger and crewlists via Ancestry.com. I have also looked through all the links listed on www.usmm.org, but still he is curiously invisible.
Does anyone have any idea why this might be so (short of his pulling a fast one on his family) and/or how I might proceed in my search?
Mine is the last surviving generation in this family and I would be very excited to connect with what they are all about and connect the stories (including an alleged shipwreck) to the facts.
I sincerely appreciate any and all help that anyone may have to offer here.