Helping her grandmother document family stories led University of Windsor student Chelsea Meloche to begin looking into her family history. Writing about her experience won the LaSalle resident The Mike Brede Genealogical Essay Prize awarded by the Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS). Chelsea said it was interesting to put into words “her own experience as a beginner in the genealogical research field.” She found “having the availability of this vast online world that is new to genealogy” jumpstarted and assisted her research however she quickly learned that it can be easy to “get lost on it sometimes.” Chelsea recently joined the Essex County Branch to learn more about family history research.
The $500 prize was awarded to Chelsea by Debra Honor, a member of the Essex County Branch OGS, at their May public meeting on Monday night. In addition to the cash award, Chelsea’s essay will be published in an upcoming issue of the OGS quarterly journal, Families, distributed to OGS members worldwide.
The Ontario Genealogical Society holds several competitions annually, including the Mike Brede Essay Prize for full time post-secondary students and the Dr Don Brearley Essay Prize for secondary school students.
The Essex County Branch is pleased that one of its own young members has won this prize that has reportedly only been awarded twice in the history of the competition. Members consider it particularly special this year since the branch is celebrating its 35th Anniversary in September and hope Chelsea’s success will encourage other young people to begin their own family history journey.