Saturday, August 22, 2009

On this day in 1885 . . .

my great grandfather Thomas Joseph Norton, Sr., was born in Jersey City, New Jersey.

He was the eldest son of Irish immigrant Patrick Norton (recent arrival from Ballyforan in County Roscommon) and the former Margaret Conner.

Tom was a gifted athlete at Fordham University, who often competed at Madison Square Garden in New York City; and qualified for the US Olympic Track and Field Team in 1904.

Unfortunately, his disciplinarian father wouldn't let Tom forego his college studies to attend the 3rd Olympiad out in St. Louis.

Bad news for Tom was good news for his many descendants. By not heading out to Missouri, he struck up a romance with my great-grandmother Lil Irving.

They were secretly wed in Jersey City on 26 February 1905, which caused quite a stir . . . even rated a feature article in the New York Times.

Anyway, I digress.

Happy 124t Birthday, Tom!

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