@ 2011 New-York Historical Society logo

Guide to the Sigmund and Margaret Nestor Papers
1942-1945
  MS 440

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
Phone: (212) 873-3400


@ 2011 New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Celia Hartmann

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on November 02, 2011
Description is in English. using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Descriptive Summary

 
Title: Papers of Sigmund and Margaret Nestor
Dates [inclusive]: 1942-1946
Abstract: The collection includes correspondence between Sigmund Nestor, from U.S. Army domestic camps in 1942 and 1945, and from India and China in 1945 and 1946, and his wife Margaret Nestor in the Bronx (1942) and Florida (1945-1946). Included are letters postcards, and a telegram; enclosures from the letters; and the Nestors' wedding announcement.
Quantity: 1.8 Linear feet (5 boxes)
Call Phrase: MS 440

Return to Top »


Biographical Note

Sigmund Nestor (1912-2005) and Margaret Fraser Berry (1910-1989) were married in New York City on July 26th, 1941. In August, 1942, Sigmund Nestor enlisted in the U.S. Army, at Governor's Island, New York, and completed basic training at Fort Dix, New Jersey. In September, 1942, he was transferred to Camp San Luis Obispo, California, and served in the 777th Battalion there. His wife, Margaret Nestor (1910-1989), worked as a nurse in a hospital in the Bronx, New York, and joined him in California in November, 1942. They lived together there until Sigmund Nestor left from Camp Beale, California, for India in June, 1945. He was at Camp Kanshrapara, India, for one month and then in Kunming, China. From October, 1945, until his return home in March, 1946, he served as a clerk in Shanghai. His final rank was Corporal at the headquarters of the 66th General Depot SOS. During 1945 and 1946 Margaret Nestor lived with her mother in Alachua and Ocala, Florida, and worked as a private duty nurse.

Return to Top »


Scope and Content

This collection contains approximately 350 letters, some mailed daily, between Sigmund Nestor and his wife Margaret between August and November, 1942, and between April, 1945, and March, 1946. Included are enclosures from the letters: Army publications, newspaper clippings, a magazine clipping, photographic prints and negatives, mailing receipts, and Chinese and Indian paper currency; as well as a telegram, a letter from Margaret Nestor's mother to Sigmund Nestor and two to Margaret from her brother Anthony Berry while he was in the U.S. Army; and the Nestors' 1941 wedding announcement.

On the front of most of the letters' envelopes, as well as the postmark, are two handwritten dates that correspond to when the letter was sent and when it was received. Some of Sigmund Nestor's letters have been perforated by an Army censor. The date and location are excised from his June 16, 1945, letters written at sea en route to China.

The letters are notable for the Nestors' candor in their feelings for each other as well as the physical and emotional hardships of being separated. In the 1945 letters they discuss their dreams of owning land and farming in Florida after the war. She tallies her pay and her progress toward her goal of saving $2000 by the time he returns. He describes the landscape and wildlife he sees en route from India to China in July, 1945, and minutia of the dress and appearance of Chinese and Indian people, whom he is seeing for the first time. He describes in detail his work and leisure pursuits in Shanghai, on base and in the Chinese markets, where he shops extensively and shrewdly for decorative objects, clothing, and erotica to send home.

Highlights include his descriptions of receiving the news in China of the atomic bombing of Japan in August, 1945, and the Japanese surrender, evolving news about what will be the G.I. Bill, and his painstaking records later that year of the requirements for points amassed towards his eventual demobilization and return home.

Return to Top »


Access Points

Subject Names

  • Nestor, Margaret
  • Nestor, Sigmund

Subject Uniform Title(s)

  • United States. Army -- Military life
  • World War, 1939-1945 - Campaigns - Pacific Area

Return to Top »


Return to Top »


Container List

Series I: Margaret Nestor (1942-1946), 1942-1946

Scope and Contents note

This series consists of Sigmund Nestor's letters to Margaret Nestor.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 1 Correspondence to Margaret Nestor
1942 Aug. 30-1942 Oct. 3
Box: 1 Folder : 2 Correspondence to Margaret Nestor
1942 Oct. 4-1942 Oct. 17
Box: 1 Folder : 3 Correspondence to Margaret Nestor
1942 Oct. 19-1942 Oct. 30
Box: 1 Folder : 4 Correspondence to Margaret Nestor
1942 Oct. 31-1942 Nov. 12
Box: 1 Folder : 5 Correspondence to Margaret Nestor
1945 Apr. 11-1945 June 18
Box: 1 Folder : 6 Correspondence to Margaret Nestor
1945 June 19-1945 June 29
Box: 2 Folder : 2 Correspondence to Margaret Nestor
1945 July 20-1945 July 31
Box: 2 Folder : 3 Correspondence to Margaret Nestor
1945 Aug. 1-1945 Aug. 8
Box: 2 Folder : 4 Correspondence to Margaret Nestor
1945 Aug. 9-1945 Aug. 19
Box: 2 Folder : 5 Correspondence to Margaret Nestor
1945 Aug. 20-1945 Aug. 29
Box: 2 Folder : 1 Correspondence to Margaret Nestor
1945 June 30-1945 July 19
Box: 2 Folder : 6 Correspondence to Margaret Nestor
1945 Aug. 31-1945 Sept. 12
Box: 2 Folder : 7 Correspondence to Margaret Nestor
1945 Sept. 13-1945 Sept. 24
Box: 3 Folder : 1 Correspondence to Margaret Nestor
1945 Sept. 29-1945 Oct. 5
Box: 3 Folder : 2 Correspondence to Margaret Nestor
1945 Oct. 7-1945 Oct. 14
Box: 3 Folder : 3 Correspondence to Margaret Nestor
1945 Oct. 15-1945 Oct. 25
Box: 3 Folder : 4 Correspondence to Margaret Nestor
1945 Oct. 26-1945 Nov. 21
Box: 3 Folder : 5 Correspondence to Margaret Nestor
1945 Nov. 22-1945 Dec. 8
Box: 4 Folder : 1 Correspondence to Margaret Nestor
1945 Dec. 19-1945 Dec. 28
Box: 4 Folder : 2 Correspondence to Margaret Nestor
1945 Dec.-1946 Mar.
Box: 4 Folder : 3 Alienated envelopes
1942, 1945, 1946

Return to Top »


Series II: Sigmund Nestor Letters (1942-1946), 1942-1946

Scope and Contents note

This series consists of Margaret Nestor's letters to Sigmund Nestor.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 4 Folder : 4 Correspondence to Sigmund Nestor
1942 Sept. 1-1942 Oct. 8
Box: 4 Folder : 5 Correspondence to Sigmund Nestor
1942 Oct. 9-1942 Oct. 18
Box: 4 Folder : 6 Correspondence to Sigmund Nestor
1942 Oct. 19-1942 Oct. 31
Box: 4 Folder : 7 Correspondence to Sigmund Nestor
1942 Nov.; undated
Box: 4 Folder : 8 Correspondence to Sigmund Nestor
1945 Apr. 29-1945 June 15
Box: 5 Folder : 1 Correspondence to Sigmund Nestor
1945 June 17-1945 July 8
Box: 5 Folder : 2 Correspondence to Sigmund Nestor
1945 Aug. 19-1945 Aug. 30
Box: 5 Folder : 3 Correspondence to Sigmund Nestor
1945 Sept. 1-1945 Sept. 8
Box: 5 Folder : 4 Correspondence to Sigmund Nestor
1945 Sept. 9-1945 Sept. 13
Box: 5 Folder : 5 Correspondence to Sigmund Nestor
1945 Dec. 22-1946 Jan. 20
Box: 5 Folder : 6 Correspondence to Sigmund Nestor
1946 Jan. 21-1946 Feb. 12

Return to Top »


Series III: Photographs (Undated), Undated

Scope and Contents note

This series consists of photographic materials included along with the correspondence.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 5 Folder : 7 Four photographic prints; one photographic negative.
Undated

Return to Top »


Series IV: Family Documents (1941), 1941

Scope and Contents note

This series consists of a document included along with the correspondence.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 5 Folder : 8 Berry/Nestor wedding announcement
1941

Return to Top »


Return to Top »