Sunday, December 7, 2014

No Two Snowflakes

They say there are no two snowflakes alike.  I think the same could be said for old probate documents from Montgomery County, Indiana.  We have appreciated that our first assignment on our mission was to capture images of individual documents related to probate cases instead of uniform pages from books, which tend to look all the same.  The documents we've seen the last five months are refreshingly unique.

This document we call the introvert - I am not putting down introverted people, because I am one.
150 year old creases and folds

It came to us all folded up in a nice, little bundle.  It took some work to get it to venture out of its comfort zone of the last 150 years.  We stretched and pulled and bent the pages to get it to lay flat enough to capture.

A cousin to the introvert, is the extrovert.

Back in the days, this type of document may have been tacked to a wooden post or a board in the public square, needing to be seen by members of the community.

We have seen twin images that, because of their shape, look like other things.

Use your imagination

There have been documents in the shape of Nebraska and Vermont.  Some resemble boats, clouds, hour glasses, and trapezoids.  One of my favorites is this Abraham Lincoln profile.

Quite frequently we receive hospital patients, the sick or damaged documents.
Poor thing.  It needs some TLC

They require surgery, therapy and healing.  We find dozens of little, or big, pieces of paper and need to figure out where each one fits.
All of these pieces resulted in a multi page document

Unlike Humpty Dumpty, we try to put them together again.

We have giants who are very tall.

 We have tiny, baby documents.

  They come in all colors, too.

Documents often come in families, attached to each other.
Green and Red Ribbons

Sometimes they are glued or sewn together.  We have seen pins, heavy duty staples, rivets, brads, string, and pieces of ribbon.  Brothers and sisters need to stay together, so we attach them as a group.

With the improvements in printing procedures, some receipts after 1850, would include beautiful logos and headings.
One of our "beauty queens"

Too often we judge a document by its outward appearance.  Even the plainest document contains beautiful handwriting and valuable information.
This clerk should get an A in penmanship

What is important is not the elaborate art on the outside, but what is contained on the inside to help a researcher know the person who lived.

We love the variety in our documents.  It has made us reflect on the variety of God's children.  All are alike unto God, yet He knows each one of us. Elder Maxwell has said,

"I testify to you that God has known you individually...for a long, long time.  He has loved you for a long, long time...He knows your names and all your heartaches and your joys!" 
(Remember How Merciful the Lord Hath Been, Ensign May 2004, pg 46)  

Whether we consider ourselves tall or short, introvert or extrovert, damaged or complete, we all contain something worth "capturing"-- our identity as a child of God.

1 comment:

  1. I don't usually post comments but wanted you to know that I do read your posts. I love how uniquely you create each part. They are so fun to read!


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