I recently did a presentation on Famous Female Hoosier Writers for Women’s History Month.  In preparing for the presentation, I read works of authors and journalists I was not as familiar with and learned more about these amazing women.  I chose this presentation topic because, while I was familiar with some of the authors and journalists I wanted to discuss, I also saw it as a learning experience.  I am one of those people who loves to learn and thrives on learning new things each and every day.  Life is about discovery!  This love of learning and discovery is why genealogy works so well for me.  I am constantly learning about new places to search for information, new sources, and new information for my own family tree.  

I hope to remind you all that genealogy is a learning process.  There are proper forms of methodology and research, but everyone has to start somewhere.  When I am researching a historical event or figure, I begin with Wikipedia.  While I would NEVER use Wikipedia as a source, I use it to get a rough idea of the event or person and then use the sources list to learn more.  It is the same with genealogy.  When people begin their genealogy research, they usually jump at the chance to use other people’s trees listed on Ancestry and other websites.  This is okay!  I have heard people getting angry with beginners for doing this.  The thing that everyone needs to remember is that while the beginners are doing further research they will learn not to trust the trees.  It is a learning process of discovering that not everyone does sound research and many people will put family lore on their trees as solid truth.  The same is true with Wikipedia.  I learned very quickly that I could not trust the material in the written sections but I could use the sources listed to help further my research.  I always try to find a primary source or an excellently sourced secondary source.  To determine how accurate or credible a resource is, research the publisher and the author and check the footnotes, endnotes, and the bibliography.  

If you would like more information on the women writers I researched, here is a link for further reading: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NL--qM0QHPnbFDwZLP5X0IDaELTygnsPprg7P-njdLM/edit?usp=sharing