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Historians' conventional or textbook view of homesteading has changed little in a half century, and most historians lost interest in doing further research on the topic. When female historians began studying women homesteaders' experiences, their investigations led to larger questions that challenge the conventional view. Separately, two colleagues and I recently reanalyzed old data and employed new data to test the conventional view's principal tenets, such as those concerning fraud and farm formation. The "new learning" shows that the conventional view is wrong or badly misleading, and it reveals new insights about women homesteaders and the importance of community. A reformed research agenda is proposed.