A Hired Genealogists Report as Evidence


I am not sure this is the correct place to ask this but here goes.

In the process of writing a case study you hire a genealogist to conduct research for you in records that you don't have access to. Additionally the types of records they will be researching are not in your bailiwick. In the process you supply the genealogist with your draft of the research you have already done. Part of the report you receive back contains a critique of your draft. The critique is extremely helpful and provides an alternate interpretation to a fact that makes several pieces stronger. What is the best way to incorporate the new interpretation in your case study? How do you acknowledge the genealogist? Is it appropriate to say something like So and So of xyz company provided another interpretation for such and such then cite the report? 

Additionally in writing my case study I don't want it to appear or imply that I searched the records that I contracted out. What is the best way to handle this?

Ann Gilchrest

Submitted byEEon Mon, 03/07/2016 - 08:19

Ann, to some extent every research project is a collaborative effort. No one does research in a hermetically sealed bubble; and it would be unwise to ignore good counsel even when it is not sought. You've analyzed your situation well and decided upon a sound approach. The answer to the two questions in your long paragraph would be yes and yes. For your final question, when you cite a record that your genealogist obtained for you, simply add a sentence to the citation to say that, due to access issues, the search was conducted by So and So of XYZ.

Submitted byagilchreston Mon, 03/07/2016 - 16:15

Thank you for your sound counsel.

As I am not proficient with several of the records that were found I will be relying on some of the analysis provided by the genealogist. My plan is to track down as much of the historical content cited in the report that I can find. To that end I have already ordered two books. When I use the genealogists analysis their words will be quoted and the report cited. If my case study is published how or will that effect the genealogist if they wish use their original report for certification with BCG?

Ann Gilchrest 

Submitted byEEon Tue, 03/08/2016 - 12:12

Ann, from my understanding of BCG's certification requirements, I do not see where it would affect your researcher at all. Unless, of course, your case study proves an error in the researcher's work—in which case the researcher likely would not submit the report prepared for you.

Incidentally, BCG has a Facebook page, at which you might like to post questions for a more-direct answer. https://www.facebook.com/groups/101216820578/?fref=ts.