Beginning genealogists, more often than not, neglect to review vital records for family members and relatives, both dead and living. Birth, marriage, death and divorce records help to place our ancestors in a particular time and place. They support the notion of our ancestors’ existence and help us to connect our family members to other families, friends and neighbors. The smallest piece of information found on a vital record could be the clue needed to solve one or more of the mysteries surrounding a family history. Learn where to find vital records, how to analyze them, as well how to locate the many related sources that can provide vital record information when originals can’t be found.
About our Speaker
Deborah A. Abbott, Ph.D., is a genealogist specializing in African American research, genealogy methodology and manuscript collections. She is an instructor at the Institute of Genealogy & Historical Research (IGHR) in Birmingham, AL; 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 Masters of Education degrees from Tuskegee University in Alabama and the Ph.D. 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 & 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 AncestryAcademy.
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.