NOTE: I am not a Certified Genealogist nor do I speak for the Board of Certification of Genealogists
That said, I’m waiting for the results on my application and, while my sweet husband says I’ll pass on my first try, I am continually looking for projects for my second try.
As part of that, I think about the Case Study a lot since that was my hardest project. I think it would have been easier if I’d understood it a little better.
This is not just any case study. In my previous post I talked about finding where Leonardo Fusco was born. I thought that would make a great case study. Maybe, but not for my BCG application. They want, “resolves, in your opinion, a significant problem of relationship or identity that cannot be resolved from uncontested direct evidence.”
So let’s break it down, but not in the order it was written.
- The Case Study needs to resolve a problem of relationship or identity.
So we are looking to prove X=X
Leonardo Fusco who was born 22 September 1884 in Messina, Sicily, Italy, and died 10 June 1940 in Niles, Trumbull, Ohio = Leonardo Fusco who was born 21 October 1884 in Tursi, Matera, Italy
Or X is the child/sibling/parent/other relation of Y
Leonardo Fusco who died 10 June 1940 in Niles, Trumbull, Ohio is the brother of Marianna Fusco who died 26 February 1910 in Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania.
Those are the only two types of Case Studies BCG is looking for. While the project would probably include proof that Leonardo Fusco was from Tursi and not Messina, the project needs to focus on identity or relationship.
- The Case Study needs to resolve a significant problem of identity or relationship.
This is where BCG is testing your judgment and while I and others want to ask, “Would this make a good Case Study?” BCG representatives will basically tell you, “You have to decide that.”
So back to Leonardo Fusco. I have death certificates for both Leonardo and Marianna that say their father was Frank Fusco and their mother was Rosalia Anzilotte. I had birth certificates from Tursi. Frank Fusco and Rosalia Anzilotte were the only couple by that name having children in Tursi at that time. Information for Marianna’s Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania death record was provided by Leonardo Fusco of Niles, Trumbull, Ohio. There weren’t a lot of Leonardo Fuscos in Niles at that time.
While I had to dig for some of these records, it was just to prove what was pretty obvious. Leonardo was the brother of Marianna, Marianna was born in Tursi, Leonardo was also born in Tursi, they had parents with the same names, there was not another couple with those names having children in Tursi at that time. In my opinion, this was not a significant problem of identity or relationship.
- The Case Study cannot be resolved from uncontested direct evidence.
And this is what really tripped me up. Direct evidence says X=X or X is the child/sibling/parent/other relation of Y. It does not matter if it is original, derivative, first-hand, hearsay, or written in the sand by a pig. Can you see why I had a hard time with this part? The direct evidence for my BCG Case study came from published genealogies, FamilySearch, and Ancestry trees and there were no sources for the information and some of it I was positive was wrong. Even the authors admitted that some of the information was probably wrong.
The key word is uncontested. I had three statements in the published genealogies. One said the children of X were A, B, and C. The second said the children of X were A and B. And the third said the children of X were A, B, C, D, E, and F. The Board will have to decide if this was a significant problem of identity. I believe it was because the Ancestry trees and FamilySearch have children that do not match those in my sources or leave children out.
So that is the focus of the Case Study. Next, it has to use “one of the following techniques:
(a) assembling indirect or negative evidence, or a combination of the two
(b) resolving a conflict between two or more items of direct evidence
(c) resolving conflict between direct evidence and indirect or negative evidence”
I’m glad the Executive Director reminded me to label my Case Study with the type of technique I was using because I thought it was obvious, but it might not have been to the judges. Of course, I went with (b) resolving a conflict between two or more items of direct evidence since I was using the three statements as the basis for my research to prove who were X’s children. The label requirement was in the instructions but I had forgotten. There are more requirements so be sure to look at the BCG application instructions some of which I have quoted in this post.