Guide to the Marcus and Feldman Family Papers
undated, 1914-2015 (with gaps)


Processed by Shannon Struble

Jewish Heritage Center at NEHGS

99-101 Newbury St.

Boston, MA 02116



© 2019  Jewish Heritage Center at NEHGS, Boston, MA. All Rights Reserved.
Electronic finding aid was encoded in EAD by Lindsay Sprechman in July 2015. Description is in English.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Marcus Family
Creator: Feldman Family
Title: Marcus and Feldman Family Papers
Dates:undated, 1914-2015 (with gaps)
Abstract: The Shevitz and Feldman families were first-generation immigrants from Russia who settled in Worcester, Massachusetts in the early 20th century. Wolf Shevitz changed his name to William Marcus upon enlisting in the United States Army and married Minnie Feldman after his discharge. The collection contains William’s service and naturalization records, correspondence between William and Minnie while William was serving in World War I, photographs of the Feldman and Marcus families, and a series of family histories.
Languages: The collection is in English, Yiddish, and Russian.
Quantity: .5 linear feet (1 manuscript box, 1 OS folder)
Identification: P-1008
Repository: American Jewish Historical Society
Location: Located in AJHS Boston, MA
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Biographical Note
World War I era postcard sent to Minnie Feldberg by William Marcus while he was stationed at Camp Dix, New Jersey, 1918.

World War I era postcard sent to Minnie Feldberg by William Marcus while he was stationed at Camp Dix, New Jersey, 1918.

William Marcus was born Wolf Shevitz on June 14, 1892 in Bialostock, Russia to Abraham and Sarah Shevitz. Wolf came to the United States on the Lusitania in 1910 via Liverpool, England, and he later brought his parents and siblings, Harry, Leon, Rose, Dorothy, Dora, and Ethel, as well. The family settled in Worcester, Massachusetts, where Abraham was a teacher at the Worcester Ivriah School, a community talmud torah supported by the Worcester Jewish Federation. Abraham died in 1928; Sarah Shevitz died several years prior, in 1921.

In Worcester, Wolf Shevitz met Minnie Feldman, another Russian immigrant. She was born to Joseph Feldman and his wife in Yelisavetgrad, Russia on June 23, 1895 and had at least two brothers, Eli and Julius. Joseph Feldman died in 1917.

Wolf Shevitz worked as a garment cutter until he enlisted in the United States Army. According to family history, he enlisted under the name William Marcus so that his family would not discover he joined the Army. Marcus was the name of his uncle in New York. He signed his Declaration of Intention, renouncing his Russian citizenship and any allegiance to Nicholas II, Emperor of Russia, as “William Marcus, formerly called Wolf Shevitz” on November 23, 1914. All subsequent documents list him as William Marcus.

During his time in the Army, William was stationed at Camp Dix in New Jersey and then transferred to England, and later France. He and Minnie Feldman exchanged frequent letters and postcards while William was abroad, along with a few telegrams, photographs, and even an envelope of rose petals. He was honorably discharged from the Army in 1919, and the couple married on June 27, 1920.

William and Minnie Marcus had three sons: Joseph, Seymour, and Norman. The family continued to live in Worcester, where William worked in the garment industry, eventually owning his own factory that produced women’s bathrobes. He died on February 22, 1978. Minnie died on May 3, 1982. They are buried together at the B’nai B’rith Lodge Cemetery in Worcester.

Joseph Marcus married Dorothy “Dot” Slovin in 1946, and the couple had three children, Steven, Arlene, and Alan. Joe was an engineer and became the Associate Dean of Engineering at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Marcus Hall at UMass-Amherst is named after him. He died in 1985, and Dot died in 2011.

Seymour lived in Worcester with his parents and never married. He died in 1999 and is buried in the Chevra Kadisha Cemetery.

Norman married Ina Levinson in 1962 and had one son, Christopher. The couple divorced in 1973, and Norman married Dawn-Marie Driscoll in 1978. Norman worked in the entertainment industry, first as a publicist, then in programming, before joining the faculty of Boston University’s College of Communication. Dawn-Marie was Vice President of Corporate Affairs and General Council at Filene’s department store.


Material from the collection.

Chronology of the Marcus-Feldman Family

1892 Wolf Shevitz is born.
1895 Minnie Feldman is born.
1910 Wolf Shevitz immigrates to the United States.
1914 Wolf Shevitz signs a Declaration of Intention.
1918 William becomes a naturalized citizen of the United States.
1919 William is honorably discharged from the army.
1920 William and Minnie marry.
1921 Joseph Marcus is born.
1921 Sarah Shevitz dies.
1928 Abraham Shevitz dies.
1928 Seymour Marcus is born.
1934 Norman Marcus is born.
1946 Joseph marries Dorothy “Dot” Slovin.
1962 Norman marries Ina Levinson.
1973 Norman and Ina divorce.
1978 William Marcus dies.
1978 Norman marries Dawn-Marie Driscoll.
1982 Minnie Marcus dies.
1985 Joseph Marcus dies.
1999 Seymour Marcus dies.
2011 Dot Marcus dies.
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Scope and Content Note

The Marcus-Feldman Family papers consist of William Marcus’s service and naturalization records, correspondence between William Marcus and Minnie Feldman over a one-year period of time while William was serving in World War I, photographs of the Feldman and Marcus families, and a series of family histories. The collection is arranged in chronological order.

The service and naturalization records of William Marcus include his Declaration of Intention and Certificate of Naturalization, along with his enlistment record and the certification of his honorable discharge from the United States Army. The Certificate of Naturalization is in a separate oversized folder.

The correspondence includes postcards and letters dating from June 1918 to August 1919. They span the period while William was stationed at Camp Dix in New Jersey and later when he was in France, England, and New York City. The group of photographs consists of a late-nineteenth-century portrait of the Feldman family taken in Russia, as well as photographs of William in uniform, William and Minnie before and after their wedding, and the couple with their children.

Two folders contain “Way Back When,” a history of William and Minnie’s lives and families, “The Marcus Family, continued,” a recounting of William and Minnie’s children’s lives, and “The Norman Marcus Scholarship Fund, 2014,” a description of Norman Marcus’s life and reasons for establishing an education scholarship fund. All three are accompanied by color scans of original photographs and documents, some of which are found elsewhere in the collection. The folder that contains “Way Back When” also holds information about the gravestones of Joseph Feldman, Minnie’s father, and Abraham Shevitz, William’s father.

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This collection is arranged into a single series:

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Access and Use

Access Restrictions

The collection is open to all researchers by permission of the Director of Collections and Engagement of the American Jewish Historical Society, except items that are restricted due to their fragility.

Use Restrictions

Information concerning the literary rights may be obtained from the Director of Library and Archives of the American Jewish Historical Society. Users must apply in writing for permission to quote, reproduce or otherwise publish manuscript materials found in this collection. For more information contact:
American Jewish Historical Society, Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY, 10011

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Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:
Identification of item, date (if known); Marcus and Feldman Family Papers; P-1008; box number; folder number; Jewish Heritage Center at NEHGS.

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Acquisition Information

Donated by Dawn-Marie Driscoll in 2015.

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Access Points

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Container List

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Series I: Marcus and Feldman Family Papers,  undated, 1914-2015 (with gaps)

In English, Yiddish and Russian.
Box 1, Folders 1-7; 1 OS folder.


Scope and Content:

See Collection Scope and Content Note.

OS1Service and Naturalization Records—Naturalization Certificate1914-1919request_box
11Service and Naturalization Records1918-1919request_box
12Correspondence—Postcardsundated, 1918-1919request_box
13Correspondence—To William Marcusundated, 1918-1919request_box
14Correspondence—To Minnie Feldmanundated, 1918-1919request_box
15Photographsundated, 1919-1947request_box
16Family Histories—"Way Back When"undated, 2014request_box
17Family Histories—"The Marcus Family, continued" and "The Norman Marcus Scholarship Fund, 2014"undated, 2015request_box
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