My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in the Biographical Review Volume of Biographical Sketches of The Leading Citizens of Hampshire County, Massachusetts published by Biographical Review Publishing Company in 1896.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

* * * *

MICHAEL NORRIS, Postmaster at Southampton and a prosperous farmer, was born in this town, July 3, 1854, son of Walter and Helen (Foley) Norris, both natives of Ireland.

The father, born in Waterford, Ireland, in the year 1818, spent the early years of his life in the land of his birth. Leaving there in 1852 to seek his fortune in America, he landed in New York. From there he went to Holyoke, Mass., where he had friends. He came to Southampton in 1857 and rented land for three years. Being a farmer by occupation, the investment repaid him, so that he was able to buy the farm now occupied by his widow. The property consists of one hundred acres of land, which at the time of purchase was but partly improved. He worked on it untiringly, and before his death, which occurred October 3, 1869, had it in a good yielding condition. He was a man of sterling character and loyal to all his obligations. His wife was born in Ireland in 1825, and courageously came alone to America in 1850. Four children were born of their union, as follows: Michael, the subject of this sketch; John, born July 24, 1857, a section boss on the New York & Hartford Railway, married to Mary Kane (a native of Ireland), and father of four children — Julia, Walter, Edmund, and Mary; Thomas, born June 7, 1860, superintendent of a whip factory in Quebec, married to Mary Farrell, of Westfield, and the father of one child, Walter L., born in 1892; and Martin, born November 13, 1863, yet unmarried, and living on the old homestead, where he is engaged in general farming. All were reared to lives of industry. After passing through the public schools they were sent to academies or seminaries to pursue the higher branches of study. The father was a Democrat in politics and an earnest worker for that party. He was a devout member of the Catholic Church of Easthampton, to which his widow and family still belong.

Michael Norris was reared on the home farm, and since the death of his father has had its care and supervision. He is now assisted by his brother Martin. They carry on mixed husbandry, paying some attention to dairying and raising a good deal of tobacco, which they sell at the home markets. In 1886 Mr. Norris was appointed Postmaster, and in the discharge of his official duties has given universal satisfaction. A Democrat from his youth, he has never swerved from his allegiance to his party. As a citizen and as a business man he is held in high esteem throughout the community, and has been chosen Selectman for
several years.

On June 4, 1895, Mr. Norris was united in marriage with Mrs. Margaret Brophy, who was born in Southampton in April, 1864, being the daughter of John and Margaret Lavin, of this town, both now deceased.

* * * *

This family biography is one of the numerous biographies included in the Biographical Review Volume of Biographical Sketches of The Leading Citizens of Hampshire County, Massachusetts published in 1896. 

View additional Hampshire County, Massachusetts family biographies here: Hampshire County, Massachusetts Biographies

View a map of 1901 Hampshire County, Massachusetts here: Hampshire County Massachusetts Map

Use the links at the top right of this page to search or browse thousands of other family biographies.