Is there any chance of there being a place I can store them 'til I'm back here? Should I just toss the early family history (oh how that would stab me in the heart) or just do as many as I can and toss the rest? They currently look to be in decent shape, but I read that that can change quickly and unpredictably.
Contact your local museum service and/or library archive - Even family "snaps" from that long ago would be of historical interest to many. You may find that a local group would be prepared to transfer the images to a more stable base.
What ever you do, don't just "toss 'em in the trash" - If nothing else, many areas regard nitrate film as hazardous waste.