2017 Annual Genealogy Workshop Featuring Deborah Abbott
​March 31st and April 1st
Registration Form

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 Athens, GA; the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) in Salt Lake City, Utah; the Genealogy Colloquium at Alabama State University in Montgomery, AL; 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 based in Springfield, TN.  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.  

Burlington Public Library, 210 Court St. Burlington, IA
10AM Self-Publishing Your Family History with Russ Fry (No Charge)
NOON Lunch on your own
1PM A Showing of The Murder of Eunice Rockefeller with Russ Fry (No Charge)

Evening Lecture with Deborah Abbott
6:30PM Doors Open
7PM Presentation with Dessert Bar
        You Only Have a Death Announcement—Now What?
To share your genealogical research with finesse, interest and appeal, you must answer the "who, what, where, why and how" questions about your ancestors; understanding that their lives are more than names and dates. Learn how to discover the courageous stories that fill the dash between birth and death. Telling their story and breathing life into their legacy will help in your quest to unlock the unique doors of family history. In this case study we will start with a "death announcement" and follow the clues that lead to numerous other records. The importance of carefully analyzing documents, determining where to find them and understanding how one record can lead to another will be emphasized.

Saturday, April 1st, 2017
Capitol Theater, 211 N. 3rd St. Burlington, IA
9AM-3:30PM Workshop
        Breaking the Brick Wall: Researching in Black and White
This lecture will reconstruct an African American family from slavery to freedom. Using a case study, learn basic tools of family history research. Understand the importance of analyzing the information that you find and how collateral/cluster research will point you toward success in the genealogical process. Using the 1940 U.S. Federal Census as the starting point, we will follow an African American family back through pre-1870 records connecting them to their slave holding family. In addition to the census, this journey will utilize numerous record groups that will show how two families, one black, one white are intertwined.
        Cluster Genealogy: Finding Your Lost Ancestor
This session will introduce the importance of researching ancestors by researching extended family members, friends and
community. Learn to develop techniques and strategies that will help increase the chances of locating that long lost 
ancestor. Several exams will be presented.
        Researching Female Ancestors
Finding female ancestors can be challenging. Female identities prior to the twentieth century are often tangled in the records of male family members both by custom and by law. In many places, women were not allowed to own real estate in their own name, to sign legal documents, or to participate in government. Learn techniques for overcoming some of these
        Vital Records: The Cornerstone of Genealogical Research
Birth, marriage, divorce and deaths are anchors in the lives of our ancestors. they connect our ancestors to a time and place and help to identify other familial relationships. Learn how to find these records, the valuable information they contain, as
well as identifying substitutes when these records are inaccessible or nonexistent. 

Des Moines County Genealogical Society (DMCGS)

The Des Moines County Genealogical Society was formed in 1973 to foster the preservation and utilization of historical and genealogical records found in Des Moines County. The society’s goals included helping those with Des Moines County roots to trace their heritage, as well as to preserve the genealogical and history records of the county.


The DMCGS meets on the first Tuesday of each month in a meeting room at the Burlington Public Library, 210 Court Street, Burlington, Iowa 52601. These gatherings provide the opportunity to listen to and converse with informative speakers on genealogical topics and to share research successes and pitfalls.

Reference Materials

DMCGS also sponsors a collection of genealogical reference materials at the Burlington Public Library. These collections include published materials, indexes to local resources, cemetery readings, and many other local records.

For more information, visit the Des Moines County Genealogical Society