This captivating presentation began with a reenactment of a slave who is unable to run away, but will help other slaves who are attempting to find their freedom. The audience became runaway slaves in the year 1852 and presenter Deborah A. Abbott, Ph.D. told them the things that they would need to know in order to reach freedom safely. She then concluded as herself with a presentation on the Underground Railroad in Ohio.
Deborah A. Abbott, Ph.D., 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 Ph.D. 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 genealogy 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.
In 2010 the City Council of Detroit, Michigan presented Dr. Abbott with a “Testimonial Resolution” honoring her outstanding commitment to African American genealogical research. Dr. Abbott’s five-year genealogical research project about an African American family’s migration from Kentucky to Ohio entitled “From Slavery to Freedom to Antioch” was highlighted in the Cleveland Plain Dealer (Ohio) Newspaper under the title “Six-Volumes to Amplify a Family History” in 2008.
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.
Dr. Abbott has been researching in the states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, Ohio, Illinois and Kentucky since 1990.