DearMYRTLE is the nom de plume of Pat Richley-Erickson, author of the award-winning DearMYRTLE Genealogy Blog, consistently among the top 5 family history blogs internationally, where her focus is on beginning genealogy topics. She is the National Genealogical Society’s 2015 President’s Citation recipient.
Though now retired, Myrt is known for her partnership with Cousin Russ providing multiple live genealogy webinars, including Mondays with Myrt and Wacky Wednesday. DearMYRTLE eschews the lecture format in favor of the “panelist homework with panelist discussion” format in her Mastering Genealogical Proof, Mastering Genealogical Documentation, Genealogy and the Law and other study group sessions.
Over 1200 videos are being re-released on the DearMYRTLE Archive YouTube Channel. A speaker at regional and national conferences including live videocasts at RootsTech2011 and 2012, Myrt is co-founder of the Genea-Quilters Facebook Group. Myrt served as a founding member and past president the Second Life (SL) Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists, and coordinator of SL’s Just Genealogy including the Inferential Genealogy Study Group.
When Covid-19 struck Myrt and Cousin Russ were instrumental is assisting genealogy societies, institutes, and several school systems with the migration to Zoom for virtual classrooms. As such, Myrt and Russ assisted the first genealogy institute to go virtual, serving as technical admin and trainers for GRIP the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburg. As the world cautiously ventured back into some in-person meetings, this novative pair provided short video training materials for producing hybrid society meetings.
MORE THAN YOU WANT TO KNOW
Online genealogy forum developer: Online since 1985 in membership development with Q-Link’s Your Family Tree and later the leadership team of AOL’s Golden Gate Genealogy Forum, Pat is a retired post-secondary computer instructor.
Author: Beginning in 1995, DearMYRTLE’s Daily Genealogy Column appeared in the Golden Gate Genealogy Forum on AOL until AOL folded the forum in Sept 2003. DearMYRTLE.com debuted in 1999 as a place to archive special columns for access by anyone on the net. Myrt’s The Everything Online Genealogy Book debuted in Nov 2000 followed by DearMYRTLE’s Joy of Genealogy in 2006. Myrt has written numerous magazine articles, published in Heritage Quest Magazine and Everton’s Genealogical Helper. She wrote the chapter on church records for Family Chronicle’s Introduction to Genealogy. In March 2003, Myrt began her series of “little books”, including Getting Started with Your Family History and Internet Research: Top 20 Things to Do Online. Currently DearMYRTLE’s Genealogy Blog is rated one of the top five in the industry.
Computer Instructor: From 1991-2006, Pat taught computer classes at the Manatee Technical Institute with an emphasis on corporate training. She also provided computer tutoring services in Sarasota and Manatee County, Florida. Specialties include corporate and government training in MS Windows, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, and Outlook.
Radio Show Host: In January 2000, she began co- hosting The Seeker & DearMYRTLE, a weekly call-in talk radio show on local AM radio, with internet streaming. In June 2000, Myrt began exclusive internet broadcasting of DearMYRTLE’s Family History Hour internet radio show which later became a podcast. When hurricane Charley devastated Port Charlotte, Florida with a direct hit, Myrt ventured into self-podcasting, but eventually turned to webinars as a method for sharing information visually.
Public Speaker: Myrt has been featured as the keynote speaker and presenter at numerous genealogy conferences in the US and abroad. As DearMYRTLE, Pat has spoken at national, regional & local genealogy society meetings since the late 1990s. She has spoken at the 1996 NGS Conference in Nashville, Tennessee, giving 2 computer lab training sessions. Recently Myrt presented three lectures and participated in two panel discussions at RootsTech 2011.
Genealogy Training and Service: Pat received training at the Washington, DC Temple Family History Center in Kensington, and served for five years as the Patron Services Librarian at the Family History Center in Bradenton, FL. She has spent hundreds of hours researching at the National Archives, the Library of Congress and the DAR Library in Washington, DC. In addition, Myrt lived in Salt Lake City, facilitating intensive research at the Family History Library. She has attended Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy for four years, Samford University’s IGHR – Advanced Military Records. She survived Elizabeth Shown Mills’s Advanced Research Course and subsequently succeeded in Dr. Thomas W. Jones’s Methodology Course at SLIG. She served many years as the technology assistant, providing document fulfillment and feedback to staff, for SLIG’s in-person and virtual Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum, and the Advanced Evidence DNA Analysis Practicum coordinated by Angela Packer McGhie.
From 1993-2006 Myrt has served as the instructor and newsletter editor for the Manasota PAF Users Group. She is a past president and webmaster for the Manasota Genealogical Society, now the Manatee Genealogical Society. Myrt served as first Vice President of the Utah Genealogical Association, with a focus on the annual Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. She was also webmaster of the Weiser Family Page.
Chat Room Hostess: Myrt joined the Your Family Tree on Q-Link for Commodore computers in the winter of 1984/1985. Working with Russ Kyger, they expanded the chats from 1 to 7 week nightly. She remembers begging Russ to hire the talented Terry Ann Morgan as the message board host. Q-Link and Apple-Link merged to become AOL, where Myrt served on the leadership team of the Golden Gate Genealogy Forum (AOL’s Keyword: roots) until it was disbanded in August 2003.
Retired: Pat/Myrt is married to Gordon L. Erickson, a former member of the Federation of Genealogical Societies Board, and past president and conference chair of the Fairfax (VA) Genealogical Society. Myrt is now happily “retired” from genealogy, working to share family history anecdotes in her tiny, handcrafted journals each holding an ancestral image or document.
Your retired friend in genealogy.