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Zella (#46524425)
 member for 14 years, 7 months, 10 days
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Bio and Links
Bio Photo I stumbled across this site over ten years ago, made a few entries, and wandered off. I returned after three years and realized it was a wonderful opportunity to do something meaningful, for both the dead and the living.

I am currently working on recording cemeteries in my home area, as well as those in Blair Co, Pa., my area of interest. My particular passion is recording stones that are 'trying hard to soon become unreadable'.

I am always thrilled when I can take an almost unreadable or broken tombstone, and, with a little research, successfully identify the person. Some have taken me years, but the harder the chase, the more satisfying the victory, especially knowing that someone out there may be searching for that elusive ancestor or relative...

I try to put as much application into stranger's graves as I would those of my own family, as I consider this a labor of love.

If anyone is helped by my efforts and wants to say thank-you, considering leaving a flower for my sponsored memorials. All tokens are appreciated.

I am a "no-dispositions-unknown" contributor.


Please note - I try to act on SACs within 72 hours. If I do not respond within a week, feel free to resend; I may have missed it. I will not make links, however, to burial unknowns.

In the past I have been very liberal with transfers, including many out-of-guidelines transfers. I loved turning memorials over to family.

Sadly however, having been 'burned' a number of times recently, I am rethinking that policy. Most of the memorials I have happily transferred over have had not one iota of additional information added by the transferee, aside from links, often times to 'burial unknowns.' When things ARE added, they are frequently cut and paste entries from Ancestry or FamilySearch indices, making the memorial unattractive and about about as personable as a baseball score card. Often too, the transferees get bored and wander away from the site, abandoning their memorials and when I find new info to add they never reply.

If you request an out-of-guidelines transfer, I will review your current memorials to see if you are good stewards of them, and base my decision on that. I am very happy to add additional information to 'flesh-out' existing memorials, and if you work with me on that I may later reconsider a transfer that I did not initially grant.
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 • 23,085 Memorials Added
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Messages left for Zella (1490)[Leave Message]
Brian J. Ensley
Alda Messersmith

Well, thank you so much for your kind words. One thing I've found in my personal life and the Army- Life is short and squabbling over something so trivial like Find-A-Grave is so ridiculous. I deleted Alda's memorial.

I transcribed both the Pringle Hill and Carpenter cemeteries back in the 1990's and most likely didn't refer to my own published books first before creating hers. Anyhow, however you want to handle it just let me know how I can help. And thanks again for the kind words. This sit is supposed to be a team effort, but just like anything else in life, we run into so many people and their different personalities, etc.

Added by Brian J. Ensley on Oct 01, 2016 10:59 AM
Michael Hileman
Thank you for getting in touch.

You wrote:

"Hello, I already added Michael Hileman to the Geeseytown cemetery over 10 years ago:
memorial #12650694
He was also already linked to his parents.

I'm sorry -- you must have forgotten we already discussed this. When I searched for Michael Hileman, there was no memorial for him in that cemetery -- no one with his name, and dates. I then added it. Later I was made aware that you had created a memorial for someone called Johan Michael Hileman. As far as I know, there is no one by that name in that cemetery, and certainly no one in my family line by that name in that cemetery. You have also provided various and changing dates for Johan Hileman on your memorial. I presented you with documentation for Michael Hileman, including probate and DAR records, which was ignored. I asked you for information as to why you believed Michael Hileman was Johan Hileman, a request which was also ignored.

I was at Geeseytown cemetery in July, and coincidentally ran into another Hileman descendant -- someone I had not known previously. He is as distressed as I am by the perpetuation of the Johan Hileman myth, which has now been picked up by folks using Ancestry and other sites. He speculated that someone had confused Michael's records with his father's, but is not sure how or why that might have occurred.

You may indeed have evidence that a Johan Hileman is buried in this cemetery. But his memorial, if he existed, is linked to people that he was not related to and features a gravestone that is not his.

Honest errors are made on Find A Grave, by volunteers who are doing the best they can. But sometimes it seems like some people are not concerned with accuracy, but only about adding to their total number of memorials. Fortunately, that is rare. I'm not interested in speculating about the motives of individual contributors -- honestly, only the individual contributor knows his/her motivations.

That said, I am confident that the memorial I created was the first memorial to be created for Michael Hileman in Geeseytown cemetery.

Thank you for taking the time to write.

Added by Starfishin on Sep 30, 2016 8:42 PM
John Hileman
Memorial 12650694

As a Hileman researcher, could you please provide me with the source for the name Johan Michael Hileman?

I have only seen him listed without the "Johan".

Added by John Hileman on Sep 29, 2016 7:00 PM
Arthur Hepler
RE: Susan Mitchell
OK! Thanks!

I took another look at the memorial.

I will let the death certificate there unless you request it to be removed
Added by Arthur Hepler on Sep 25, 2016 8:10 AM
Brian J. Ensley
Anna Lavely
Thanks for the heads-up on her husband. I made the change. What you said makes perfect sense.

Added by Brian J. Ensley on Sep 25, 2016 5:37 AM
Arthur Hepler
RE: Susan Mitchell
can you please include the memorial number?
Added by Arthur Hepler on Sep 24, 2016 7:26 PM
Arthur Hepler
RE: Susan Mitchell
Thank you

I will remove the death certificate.
Added by Arthur Hepler on Sep 24, 2016 7:24 PM
Nancy Yost
RE: Kathryn Roberts 1925-1925
Thanks, I realized that later. Pam was so helpful in locating the stone for us. I took mom last week. Thanks again
Added by Nancy Yost on Sep 20, 2016 8:17 AM
John Gaines, Catherine Gaines
Thanks for the information.
Added by snyclefrytz on Sep 14, 2016 10:31 AM
Samuel Nofsker gravstone photo
May I have your permission to download the photo of the gravestones of Samuel and Eve Nofsker (memorial 150023509)?
I would like to upload them into my Ancestry Family Tree.
Thank you for your consideration and obvious hard work to take these photos of the final resting places of our distant relatives!
-Ro Fleury
Added by MissKitty on Sep 13, 2016 4:04 PM
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