Laura G. Prescott

Lebanon, NH – Laura G. Prescott died Sunday, August 26 at the age of 60 after a three-year battle with cancer.

Laura was born on July 19, 1958 in Charleston, West Virginia, the fifth of Baxter and Eloise Prescott’s six children. After her graduation from George Washington High School in 1976, she attended Dartmouth College where she graduated with a B.A. in History in 1980.

In 1983, Laura married Paul E. Duffy, with whom she had two children, Katharine and Nathan. They lived in Brookline, NH for 19 years before divorcing in 2002.

Laura’s latent interest in genealogy ballooned into a full-blown passion in 1997 which led to a notable and accomplished career for the rest of her life. Laura was an employee at the New England Historical Genealogical Society for seven years before launching her own business, Laura G. Prescott Research Services, LLC. Widely respected in her field, Laura gave presentations on family history and research across the United States, Canada and England and served as the Vice President of the Genealogical Speakers Guild. She also served as President of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) from 2010 to 2011 and was awarded the organization’s prestigious Grahame T. Smallwood Jr. Award of Merit in 2014. In September 2017, the APG established the Laura G. Prescott Award for Exemplary Service to Genealogy in her honor. In March of 2014, Laura was hired by Ancestry and moved to Utah to become their new Director of Ancestry Academy, a service which created full-length online video courses for genealogists of all levels. Despite all of her many accomplishments and accolades, Laura was most proud of her legacy of teaching and helping others in the genealogy community.

In July of 2015, Laura was diagnosed with cancer and bravely (and stubbornly) outlived her life expectancy by two and a half years. She died peacefully at home in Lebanon, NH, surrounded by family, on August 26. She is survived by her mother, Eloise C. Prescott of Lebanon, NH, her siblings, Susan C. Prescott and husband Michael Seraphinoff of Whidbey Island, WA, Deborah P. and husband William Krumme of Dallas, TX, Thomas M. and wife Barbara C. Prescott of Hanover, NH, and Sarah P. and husband Kevin Phillips of Nyack, NY, her children, Katharine C. and husband Nicholas Tarvainen of Dover, NH and Nathan P. Duffy of Portsmouth, NH, and her granddaughter Margaret C. Tarvainen. She is predeceased by her father Baxter C. Prescott and sister Patricia P. Norton in 2010.

Laura will be buried with her ancestors at Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, MA. Details on memorial services in both New England and Salt Lake City, UT are forthcoming. Gifts can be made to the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) Scholarship founded in Laura’s name:

To view an online memorial and or send a message of condolence to the family, please visit,

Arrangements are under the direction of the Rand-Wilson Funeral Home of Hanover, NH.