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52 Weeks Of Personal Genealogy History

Monday, October 12, 2009

Feeling Overwhelmed With So Many Photos

It has been over 10 years since I gathered family photos from my mother's place in Duluth, Minnesota after her death to take to my home in St. Paul, Minnesota.

My plan was to organize and separate them. Some for me, my sister and my two cousins. A few would go my brother in an album made by me for him to enjoy.

Here I still am with piles and piles of photos I brought from Minnesota to my move to California.

Late last year I started to finally start to sort them. I put up 3 card tables in my bedroom and made piles and filled small boxes and envelopes. Then we moved from California to Texas to be closer to my sister and her family. As an added bonus we are closer to Minnesota where our children are.

As we packed for our move, I gathered all the photos up and put into boxes. Here I sit again with piles around me. Most have no names on them but I can identify a large number of them, but if something happens to my generation, no one would know " Oh that is a picture of Great Uncle Al and Great Aunt Merle." This picture is Great Grandma Catherine, Grandma Grace and ?"

I have to get this started and done. I need to stop procrastinating finally really begin.

Anyone else have or has had this dilema and what are you doing ? Or what did you do about this situation? Do I just put in an album identifying or do I take time to scrapbook. I have not done much scrap booking. What I did do is not very good I have to admit but would enjoy giving it another try.
These photos are of my mother, Aunt Daisy and Grandma Grace. My mom is the youngest of all three. Probably taken in Olgavie or Mora, Minnesota.


  1. I have a set of pictures so similar to the above - its very strange - I should post them tomorrow just to show you. I had this same problem on my end with my Grandmother's photographs - many were in those sticky albums and such and then we also inherited my aunt's photos (her sister) they really piled up and were all mixed together - families, occasions etc. During the summer my mom and I sat down and started sorting. First we tried to tackle by year, many of them had the year imprinted in the margin on the front, some were written on. We did 1941-49 etc. first with years in batches and then we tried to do each year - this became easier as we went because we started to recognize people's clothing and such and could easily say "this was the same day!". Neither of us are scrapbookers, but we opted for scrapbooks - mom needed a 'project'. We got some nice 'heritage' looking papers and she uses photo corners so the photos can be removed if need be. You can also add labels on the pages with typed print to identify the people or occasions. As I said, we're not "scrapbookers" so there aren't any cutsey additions to the pages or die cut shapes, just simply the photos, occasionally with a piece of cardstock behind for some color - no glitter and glam. After all, it's about the pictures not all that other stuff. If you're just looking to sort and get them done, there are lots of photo books with slip-in pockets on the market now also (try adorama.com) that hold lots of pictures on large pages with area to write a note about each picture. You can also add pages if necessary and it's a great option also. Either way, the important thing is that the materials used be acid free archival quality and that the photos are protected.

  2. Thank you so much for your post and comments. I would love to see your pics that are similar to mine. please let me know when you have posted them. grace

  3. Grace - I've just located them in my files - funny how there are so many photos of people near this tree that must've been in my grandparents front yard. Of course it's a different location different people than yours, but these were taken in the early-mid 1940s and I guess they just happened to like taking photos by this tree. Very funny! I'm working on the post right now. Should be up in the next 1/2 hour.