Deborah A. Abbott, PhD, is an adjunct faculty member at the Institute of Genealogy & Historical Research (IGHR) at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama and currently serves as the Cleveland District Trustee on the Ohio Genealogical Society (OGS) Board. She is past-president of the African-American Genealogical Society, Cleveland, Ohio (AAGS) and a retired professor of Counseling from Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland. She holds both the Bachelor of Science and Masters of Education degrees from Tuskegee University (Alabama) and the PhD degree from Kent State University (Ohio).
Dr. Abbott has presented lectures at national conferences and at a variety of genealogical societies, libraries, schools, and churches throughout northeast Ohio and surrounding states. She specializes in African American genealogy, but enjoys teaching genealogical methodology to everyone. Her love for genealogy shows through her talks as she lectures on a wide variety of topics suited for all levels of researchers.
Dr. Abbott is presently working on a genealogical project which traces the ancestry of an African American family from Ohio and Illinois back to their slave roots in Kentucky. This project covers approximately two-hundred years and was highlighted in February 2008 by the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper under the title “Six-Volumes to Amplify a Family History.” She is also working on a transcription project focusing on a court document of free blacks of Boyle County, Kentucky. The City Council of Detroit, Michigan, in 2010, presented Dr. Abbott with a “Testimonial Resolution” honoring her outstanding commitment to African American genealogical research. In September 2011, Dr. Abbott was selected to deliver her lecture entitled Slave Research: A Closer Look at Freedom as the annual James Dent Walker Memorial Lecturer at the Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference held in Springfield, Illinois.
Dr. Abbott is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogist (APG), the Genealogical Speakers Guild (GSG), the National Genealogical Society (NGS), the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS), the Ohio Genealogical Society (OGS), and various other local genealogy societies. She is an active member of Antioch Baptist Church in Cleveland and a volunteer for the Garfield Park Nature Center where she participates in an interactive “Underground Railroad” re-enactment program. Through her genealogical society, she coordinates the “Genealogy Clinic” for the Cleveland Public Library.