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Chelsea Meloche displays her award letterAn essay on her experiences as a beginning researcher has won UWindsor student Chelsea Meloche a $500 prize from the Ontario Genealogical Society.

Looking into family history earns student genealogy prize

Online resources have made genealogical research much easier, a UWindsor student has found. Chelsea Meloche’s essay on her initial forays in the field has won her a $500 award from the Ontario Genealogical Society.

Meloche began looking into her family history several months ago, and was gratified to find many sources of information available to her.

“I have never done this before. It’s almost too easy for the novice,” she said. “The commercial sites have so much data, as long as you have the money to pay for access.”

Her account of her experience as a beginner won the master’s candidate in sociology the $500 Mike Brede Genealogical Essay Prize.

“It was very nice to be recognized,” Meloche said. “The monetary aspect is a bonus!”

In addition, the society will publish the essay in an upcoming issue its quarterly journal, Families, distributed to members worldwide.

Meloche lives in LaSalle, a town founded by French settlers who may well number among her own forebears. She acknowledges she still has a lot of history to trace: “It’s interesting learning about your past.”

Michele Watson, a spokesperson for the society’s Essex County Branch, says its members are especially excited to see Meloche win the award, since the branch will celebrate its 35th anniversary in September.

“We hope Chelsea’s success will encourage other young people to begin their own family history journey,” Watson said. Learn more on the local chapter’s website.