Myra Vanderpool Gormley

I first found Myra when I joined the Prodigy genealogy bulletin board in 1991. Myra was the genealogy expert there and every week she wrote an article on genealogy. I kept the articles and started indexing them, still have them on a floppy.

I was also going to the Family History Center (now Family Search Center) near me and as a new genealogist I was surprised when I found my Irish great grandmother’s surname was Vanderpool. My grandmother had told me all her ancestors were Irish, but Vanderpool is Dutch not Irish. Many of the early Vanderpool newsletters are on microfilm at Salt Lake and I was able to trace my Vanderpool’s back to John Jackie Vanderpool born in North Carolina about 1805. He is still one of my brick walls as I have never found any information on his parents. I did find his grandparents and they are also ancestors of Myra Vanderpool, so we are 6th or 7th cousins. I am pretty shy so I sent Myra an E-Mail with my findings and almost immediately got a reply welcome cousin. I joined the Vanderpool group and got their annual newsletter. A few years later I helped index all 40+ volumes of that newsletter. I still have that index here on my computer, but the sky index I used stopped working when I got Win 7.

I confided with Myra several times when something genealogical came up, first was when I sent my GEDCOM to a New England linage group and a month or so later that whole GEDCOM appeared on several online websites with all my living relatives still listed. I completely stopped doing any research and was close to quitting genealogy. Myra calmed me down and later on I did start researching again. It is interesting I see myself on Facebook when I see people wanting to keep their family tree private since someone had changed their online tree.

Second time was when I had the chance to do what our genealogical society calls research for others, I lookup local records in our library and courthouse and charge a small fee which actually goes to our genealogical society. I was thinking that would be a long term commitment, but Myra said I could quit at any time I wanted. I found I really like this volunteer job, I like being in a quiet archive all to myself doing research, and I am the third person in this job since WWII.

Myra was such a good writer and I am such a poor writer, but she always said write about what you know, so I am becoming a better writer. Thanks Myra.

Myra passed away from cancer on June 26, 2020 and I will miss my cousin and friend. Rest in Peace Myra.

Richard Eastman has a nice article on Myra here

2 comments on “Myra Vanderpool Gormley

  1. Sandra Gaffney says:

    I worked for an accounting firm in Los Angeles in the 1970’s. We did nothing but dairy farmers, some had a 1,000 milking cows. One of my clients were the Vanderpool brothers. After I moved to Chehalis and worked as a bookkeeper there I discovered they had relatives in Boistfort, Washington.

  2. Charlie Armentrout says:

    If you were a relative or knew Myra you were blessed. I met Myra in the late 50’s and was fortunate to spend extra time with her! I later, much later, asked her to put information about the Garden City Kansas Police Department in book form! She did that out of the kindness of her wonderfully big heart! That book was published and remains a tribute to her kindness and wonderful personality! The world lost a bright and wonderful person. Heaven gained an angel

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