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About the Transcription and Conventions followed in the Transcription

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Mary's Journal and Mary and Ben's cards and letters have been transcribed as accurately as possible. Some comments about the conventions followed in the transcription:

  • Parts of the journal and cards and letters were not completely legible, primarily due to the fading of the ink and pencil, but sometimes due to the transcriber’s inability to read the handwriting. Mary used many abbreviations, which have been retained. She also encountered many new words and place names along the way, and frequently did not know the proper spelling of those new words. These, and other, misspellings are retained. No attempt has been made to correct grammar, add punctuation, or make her journal "politically correct" - a concept unknown in the early 20th century. The only change that was deliberately made was to move the dates from the beginning of each journal entry or card or letter to the heading.

  • Cards and letters Mary and Ben sent home often provide additional information that Mary did not include in her journal and, therefore, add to the understanding of the journal. Cards and letters are presented on the day they were sent, even though the card or letter might have been started on an earlier day. The reason for this is so that things done on a later day will not be discussed in a letter prior to that day. For those who do not care to wait, a link to the letter is provided on each day that a letter was written but not sent.

  • If it is clear from context or notes on the photographs exactly when they were taken, Ben's photographs are included with the journal entry and cards and letters for that date and are labeled with the date. If it is not clear when a photograph was taken, it is included at what appears to be a logical place.

  • A small number of cards and letters that Mary and Ben received on their trip have also been found and are included as part of the material for the date on which they were received.

  • People in the Wilson family genealogy, including collateral families, are linked to their entries in the genealogy each time their name appears. However. once the reader becomes familiar with the people Ben and Mary visited, it will not be necessary to follow each link. Because the Wilson family genealogy found on this incarnation of the website only gives information through the fifth generation, it is possible that some of the links will not work. This would be because the person referenced in a member of the sixth or higher generation.

  • "I" is Mary and, because this is her journal, it is presumed that the reader will understand this. Therefore, a link is not provided each time she uses the pronoun "I."

  • Annotations have been added to supply historical and explanatory information, incorporate material obtained from other sources, and provide other material not part of the actual trip. Much of this information was obtained from the internet, and is attributed to the source where it was found.

  • To the extent it has been possible to identify other individuals mentioned in the Journal or cards and letters, identification of, and genealogical and other relevant information on, those individuals is provided through notes.

  • All identifications and genealogical information presented are believed to be correct. It has been gleaned from a variety of sources, including, but not limited to, Mary’s birthday book and genealogy; other family genealogical history; and internet web sites. Census information was used extensively. If you know of corrections or additions to the identifications or genealogical information, please send them to us.

  • The accompanying maps are based on present day roads. However, they give a decent idea of the route Ben and Mary took because present day roads tend to follow earlier roads. Some of these roads are in themselves of historical interest, and annotations are provided in those cases.

  • Towns are not annotated. However, many of the towns mentioned are included as way-points on the maps.

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