It is 6 degrees this morning, so I am taking advantage of Chicago's killer winter to organize my husband's family's archives.
Think of it as photo scrap-booking 150 years in the making.
This is not hyperbole.
For reasons I have yet to discern, the JPs and their relatives (by blood and marriage) were huge on recording events with a camera but not down with photo albums.
The Christmas I sent my mother-in-law three white albums so she could fill them with her wedding pictures (1946), she chose to use them for her Europe vacation pictures (1990).
So we have inherited a tonnage of photographs, though keep in mind that what we have represents one-third of the total accumulation. (My sisters-in-law have their respective mountains.)
Once we got home with everything, the question was who/what/where/how to begin (and not get discouraged).
I decided surnames would be the easiest sorting system, followed by a best-guess chronology.
So I started to flip pictures into boxes. Many, many boxes. Henry and Sarah, George and Hannah, Charles and Jennie, the farms, valentines, the unknowns.
I began with what and who I knew -- Betty, my wonderful mother-in-law.
Next came my father-in-law. (He was a great guy.)
A week later, I was up to 1946. Progress.
The top of the bench, my accidental sorting system, represents the 1950s. The 1970s is on parade on the floor out of camera range (which explains why I'm doing this in the basement.)
And then there is the late 19th to early 20th century stuff.
By the time this little project is completed, there will be 3, maybe 4, albums in all.
Of course, there is the newspaper collection. And the genealogical information.
They may have to wait until winter 2014.
Naperville Now participates each week in Mrs. Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday. Read what other Alphabe-tarians are writing about the letter J.