Myra Vanderpool Gormley (1940 – 2020), a well-known and very active genealogist as well as a prolific writer, passed away from cancer on June 26, 2020.
Myra was a certified genealogist, and a frequent lecturer at genealogy conferences. She wrote many books, including: Cherokee Connections, (and a follow-on book: Cherokee Connections: An Introduction to Genealogical Sources Pertaining to Cherokee Ancestors), The Official Guide to Rootsweb.com (written by Myra and Tana Pederson Lord), Prima’s Official Companion to Family Tree Maker (updated when Family Tree Maker released new versions), and Kansas Gunsmoke: A History of the Garden City Police Department. As a syndicated columnist and feature writer for the Los Angeles Times Syndicate, Myra also wrote a weekly genealogy column, Shaking Your Family Tree. She also wrote hundreds of articles for various journals and magazines,
Quoting her bio at http://blogs.ancestry.com:
“Myra began doing genealogy as an eleven year old, when she went to the local library and did research that disproved a family legend about Jesse James. But it wasn’t until she was in her thirties that she began consistently researching. After experiencing a measure of success doing her own genealogy, Myra proposed writing a column on genealogy to the local newspaper editor. It took several years for Myra to convince him that genealogy had a wide appeal, but from the moment her column, “Shaking the Family Tree,” launched in July of 1983, it experienced tremendous success. Soon the column was picked up by the Los Angeles Times syndicate and passed to other newspapers and readers around the nation. Myra continued writing the column for nineteen years.
“Some of Myra’s other accomplishments as a genealogist include spending nine years writing a column and answering genealogy questions for Prodigy, an early Internet Service Provider, publishing numerous magazine articles and three books on family history, and helping to found the International Society of Family History Writers and Editors.”
One quote from Amy Johnson Crowe in a press release of some years ago describes Myra perhaps best of all: [Myra Vanderpool Gormley] “made our world a much better place for genealogists everywhere.”