Manuscript Group 670, Serven-Winters Family (Paterson, New Jersey) Papers, 1795-1917 (Bulk dates: 1862-1863, 1900-1911)


Documents, Manuscripts, Maps, & Photographs

Manuscript Group 670, Serven-Winters Family (Paterson, New Jersey)

Papers, 1795-1917 (Bulk dates: 1862-1863, 1900-1911), 0.1 linear feet / 3 folders

Call Number: MG 670



Includes letters of Benjamin R. Serven (1836-1891), a Paterson resident who served in Company K of the 25th New Jersey Volunteers from 1862 to 1863.

Gift of the Niagara County Historical Society, 1967.

Biographical Note:

Benjamin R. Serven was born in February 1836.  He was a jeweler in Paterson, New Jersey, the town where he lived.  In September of 1862 he enlisted in Company K of the Twenty-Fifth Regiment of the New Jersey Volunteers and soon saw action in Virginia.  He was wounded during the Battle of Fredericksburg on December 13, 1862 and spent three months in a military hospital in Philadelphia.  He was discharged from the army on March 10, 1863.  Benjamin R. Serven died on July 20, 1891.

Mary E. Serven, probably Benjamin R. Serven’s daughter, married Marshall A. Winters, a restaurant owner, on March 28, 1900 in Paterson.  The couple had a daughter, Mary D. Winters, on May 12, 1903.  Marshall Winters died eight years later on June 15, 1911.

Provenance Note:

This collection was donated by the Niagara County Historical Society in 1967.  The name of the collection was changed from Serven Family to Serven-Winters Family at the time of processing.

Scope and Content Note:

The papers consist largely of the certificates, correspondence, and invitations of the allied Serven and Winters Family of Paterson, New Jersey.  The papers range from 1795-1917, with bulk dates of 1862-1863 and 1900-1911, and have been arranged into the following categories: family records, Civil War correspondence, and social invitations/documents.

The family records in the collection are largely made up of certificates (birth, marriage, death) documenting Mary and Marshall Winters’ family.  These items span the range of the marriage, from the wedding in 1900 to Marshall Winter’s death in 1911.  This series also contains Benjamin R. Serven’s discharge and a land deed between Benjamin and Thomas Scudder.

Benjamin R. Serven’s letters to his parents cover his entire service in the Union army, October 1862-January 1863.  The letters describe his regiment’s movements, the death of his friends during the Battle of Fredericksburg, and his stay in the hospital.  The letters depict the common plight of a soldier for Serven is constantly talking about his hunger and asking his parents to send money.

The last series of documents is mostly made up of invitations to various functions.  It also contains a poem written by Mary (Serven) Winters and a calling card of Marshall Winters.

The last folder contains some genealogical research on the Serven family which is not part of the original collection.

Folder List:

Folder Title Dates
1 Family Records:
Deed-Benjamin Scudder to Thomas Scudder 1795
Discharge-Benjamin R. Serven 1863
Specifications for Benjamin R. Serven’s house on Main Street, Paterson, New Jersey 1885
Obituary-Benjamin R. Serven 1891
Marriage certificate-Mary E. Serven and Marshall A. Winters 1900
Birth certificate-Mary D. Winters 1903
Doctors bill to Marshall Winters 1903
Funeral card and obituary-Marshall A. Winters 1911
Certificate of church membership-Mary D. Winters 1917
2 Civil War Correspondence: Benjamin R. Serven to his Parents (5 letters) 1862-1863
3 Social Invitations/Documents:
Invitation to the Rifle Practice and Social of the Fulton Association, to Mr. B. Serven 1876
Invitation to Marie Ryan’s birthday party, to Mae 1913
Calling card of Marshall Winters n.d.
Poem from Marie to Marshall Winters, “Be Careful of Your Money” n.d.
4 Addition to collection (not part of original manuscript collection–genealogical research notes, added 2006) n.d.

Processed by Kim Charlton, December 1999 as part of the “Farm to City” project funded by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

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