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 and often incorrect information.

Why pay for research?

Identifying the correct individual in a crowd is difficult. The 2020 U.S. Census counted more than 3 million people named Smith and over a million each with the surnames Brown, Davis, Garcia, Hernandez, Johnson, Jones, Martinez, Miller, and Williams.

Many vital records, birth, marriage, and divorce certificates are not available online. Those that are on websites often have errors, due to typos, misspellings, nicknames, etc. 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 discover your tree and 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 both the Association of Professional Genealogists and National Genealogical Society I abide by a Code of Ethics and Professional Practices.

Consultations are free.

Helping others discover their ancestors is like solving puzzles, my favorite past time.