Abbott, Deborah A


Deborah A. Abbott, PhD, is a genealogist specializing in African American research, genealogy methodology and manuscript collections. She is an instructor at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR) now in Athens, GA, the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) in Salt Lake City, Utah and co-coordinated “Researching African American Families” at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP). She currently serves as a Trustee on the Board of the Ohio Genealogical Society and is an associate with the Kentucky-Tennessee Associates. Dr. Abbott is past president of the African American Genealogical Society of Cleveland and a retired Professor of Counseling from Cuyahoga Community College. She holds both the Bachelor of Science and Master of Education degrees from Tuskegee University in Alabama and the PhD. degree from Kent State University.

Dr. Abbott has presented lectures and workshops at a variety of national, state, and local genealogy conferences, as well as businesses and libraries. One of her major research projects which traces an African American family from slavery in Kentucky to freedom in Illinois was highlighted in The Cleveland Plain Dealer under the title of “Six Volumes to Amplify a Family History.” She has had articles published in the Ohio Genealogy News and Family Tree Magazines. Dr. Abbott can be seen on an instructional video about African American Research entitled Needles & Threads for Ancestry Academy.

Dr. Abbott is a member of the National Genealogical Society (NGS), the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), and the Genealogical Speakers Guild (GSG), as well as other state and local genealogical societies. She coordinates and teaches monthly genealogy classes at both the Lakewood (Ohio) Public and Cleveland Public Libraries.


  • Course Two — Intermediate Genealogy & Historical Studies
  • Course Nine — Research in the South: Colonial States
  • Course Ten — Building an African American Research Toolbox