Welcome

 …  to Ancestry Puzzles. I am Terry Vaughn Skaug, a genealogist with over 40 years of experience. The internet was not available when I began helping others identify their ancestors. Research required reviewing newspapers, church, school, and government records. As interest in genealogy grows, so does the number of ancestry websites. They are a quick way to start researching family history yet provide limited information.

Why pay for research?  web-page-head-shot-2

The 2010 U.S. Census counted more than 2 million people named Smith and over a million each with the surnames Brown, Davis, Garcia, Hernandez, Johnson, Jones, Martinez, Miller, and Williams. Identifying the correct individual in a crowd is difficult. Many vital records, birth, marriage, and divorce certificates are not available online. Those that are on websites often have errors. This complicates identifying the correct person for a family tree. 

To obtain documentation I subscribe to dozens of databases. I travel to explore files at government agencies, libraries, churches, and newspaper archives to locate documents validating information. I hike cemeteries hunting headstones, collecting data and photographs. I interview people to collect more clues. When the information needed is out of my area, I network with other professionals.

If you need help preparing an application to join a lineage society or to create a family history album, contact me. The final project will include more than lists of names and dates. Historic news and events of the times involved are connected when possible. Photo restoration is also available

As a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, I abide by APG’s Code of Ethics and Professional Practices and the APG Mailing List Code of Conduct. 

Please contact me to discuss researching your genealogy riddles. 
Consultations are free. Helping others discover their ancestors is like solving puzzles, my favorite past time.