Bright Shiny Object is a genealogy term that is sometimes referred to by its initials – BSO. A bright shiny object is something that distracts your attention from your original research objective.
Bright shiny objects are responsible for countless “wasted” hours of research time. Bright shiny objects rarely leave you feeling satisfied, despite their initial allure. Bright shiny objects are very hard to resist. I LOVE bright shiny objects!
There are times when I find good information by chasing a BSO. And let’s face it – the internet makes it almost impossible to avoid the distractions of them. So in response to Lanie’s comment yesterday about John Duggan, Jr., I wanted to know more about him.
Technically my search for information about John Duggan, Jr. is not a BSO because he was the object of today’s research session. But if I go down too many paths to explore details of his children’s lives (he had 7) or to learn more about the Italian family that lived around the corner from him in 1920 (Vona and Mary Domanic and their four children), those would be BSOs. But I do find it interesting that Vona Domanic was a shoemaker who owned his own shoe shop and immigrated in 1902 followed by his wife and daughter Rose in 1912.
So here’s what I know about John Duggan, Jr. the attorney who successfully represented Custode in a case that started in 1912 and didn’t end until 1915 – talk about tenacious! He was born in Connellsville, Pennsylvania on August 12, 1884 and died in Connellsville on February 20, 1957. His father was born in England and his mother was born in Maryland. He attended Georgetown University in Washington DC and got his law degree there in 1907. He was admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar in 1909 so he’d only been in practice three years when he took Custode’s case.
But even better than what I found on Ancestry.com is this picture and information from the book entitled The Book of Prominent Pennsylvanians – A Standard Reference, published in Pittsburgh, PA in 1913 by Leader Publishing Co.
So to echo Lainie’s sentiment – it’s never too late to say “thank-you” to John Duggan, Jr. and his descendants. My guess would be that Custode had some money to pay him but the case also created an interesting legal question, which may have influenced his decision to take it.Whatever the reason, I’m sure glad John Duggan took the case.