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Brian J. Ensley (#47190867)
 member for 5 years, 10 months, 22 days
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Bio and Links
Bio Photo I started out in the Air Force for a short time in the early 1980's, had a 15 year break and now I'm active duty with the PA Army National Guard (AGR) in an Apache (AH-64D) Attack Reconnaissance Battalion (soon to retire). My family has served in the military since the French & Indian War, all from Pennsylvania, down to two of my sons who served in the PA National Guard.

I have been involved with genealogy since around 1982 and have published several books on area cemeteries as well as local history. I finally earned my Master's Degree in 2006. It has been my goal to document as many cemeteries in my area as possible before much of the information is lost to time. Besides transcribing cemeteries I have recently found the value in photographing headstones as a way to help preserve this valuable information for future generations. It seems that most families have that one person who seems to answer a calling in life to be the family historian- I guess that's me as well as for my wife's family.

What I find incredible- I went from using a typewriter and carbon paper in the early 1980's, to now being able to take a photo of a headstone and upload it to this site instantly while in the cemetery, from my iPhone.

If you want to see why what we do is so important and photographing headstones in order to preserve the information for future generations is vital, check out Blough Cemetery to see how a cemetery's condition can change in 15 years. This is NOT a numbers game- Again, it is a quest to preserve our heritage for future generations.

Now for the "Fine Print...:"

1) If you suggest any corrections/links, PLEASE use the edit link on the memorial and include all pertinent information. DO NOT e-mail suggestions, corrections or photo requests directly to me. Also, if I have created a memorial that is a relative, please feel free to ask to have it transferred. Just be sure to include your member number and relationship. If transferred, would appreciate any information that I have added remain intact after transfer. If I do not transfer a memorial, it is only because it is a relative of mine as well, unless you're more closely or directly related.

2) If I have a photo on here, I am the copyright holder unless I cite the source in the caption from another contributor. If it is a photo that I own, please feel free to use it in your own personal family tree such as HOWEVER, on any of my photos, be sure to cite the source to give proper credit.

3) When I add memorials for non-relatives, I try to be as complete and accurate as possible, and I do so with the same care and respect as I would for my own family member.

4) If I post a photo on a memorial in which you had already posted one, please don't take offense- sometimes additional photos under other conditions (ie- light, weather, etc.) can provide a whole different perspective. Many times I've swapped out my own photos when conditions were different the second time around and the new photo had more detail, especially with worn stones. If you are the owner of that memorial and don't want someone else's photos just ask and I will remove it. Likewise, if you have a photo to add to mine that can help enhance the memorial, please feel free to contribute.

5) Please show proper etiquette when it comes to people volunteering their time and gas. A simple thank you goes a long way. If you want multiple monuments photographed, please take the time to create a memorial for each person rather than attach a message to one request asking for multiple photos or "everyone else in that cemetery with the same surname."

6) Through my publisher I have published over a dozen books just on cemetery transcriptions alone, taking the time to carefully transcribe hundreds of cemeteries. I've noticed that people have taken that work to enter memorials "en masse" and are then uncooperative when it comes to transferring, correcting, linking and editing these memorials for family members and other researchers. This is not a numbers game so I would encourage a team approach in this project.

7) I will post obituaries to my memorials as long as the proper citation is made to give the proper credit for the source. If family members want their information private, then they should consider not having it published in the local newspaper/website and funeral home website. There is no legal expectation to privacy when the information has been made public. Death certificates are public record as well. As long as these sources are properly cited there should not be an issue in regards to copyright laws.

8) The mountains of Southwestern Pennsylvania can be brutal during the winter. But with snowbrush in hand, that doesn't keep me from fulfilling requests. Unfortunately the quality of my photos in the winter months isn't normally up to the standard that I set for myself. Please- don't hesitate to ask for a re-take during the summer. Just send me a reminder.

I appreciate all of the hard work my fellow volunteers and contributors have made to this site!
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1977 Johnstown Flood Vict... (76)
1984 Class of Greater Joh... (11)
1st BN 103rd Armor PA Nat... (21)
54th Pennsylvania Volunte... (330)
5th Pennsylvania Heavy Ar... (134)
Lee Hospital (Johnstown, ... (54)
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Messages left for Brian J. Ensley (2980)[Leave Message]
Karen L.(Gregory) Largent
RE: 54th PA Infantry Virtual Memorial
WEll when I discovered your memorial I had to put him in there too. What a brave boy to go to war at 11 years old! And survive!!

Thanks again my friend,

Added by Karen L.(Gregory) Largen... on Sep 02, 2015 2:06 PM
Karen L.(Gregory) Largent
54th PA Infantry Virtual Memorial
Brian, not only was my 3rd Great Grandfather in the 54th of which he was captain of Company E. His son Robert Smiley Graham followed his father to Harrisburg at age 11 and not knowing what to do with him made him a drummer boy for the 54th.We don't know how he did after his father was presumed dead at New Market, Va and then taken prisoner of war but he kept going with the 54th until his discharge.

He was enlisted on October 17, 1861 and discharged on November 8, 1864 at the age of 14. He married Jennie Savilla Iler at age 16! I have some great pictures of him when he was older.

He is buried in the Braddock cemetery, Braddock Allegheny County, PA and his Find A Grave number is:

Another amazing story of my ancestors.
Added by Karen L.(Gregory) Largen... on Sep 02, 2015 12:57 PM
Ancestor Searcher
RE: Grace Stern
It hasn't been too bad because I photograph them upside down and then rotate them. I hesitated to do a memorial cemetery and it was faster than some of the older ones that are not maintained very well. I just got back from the 7th trip and should be able to complete it in one more visit. I know that you have lots of experience doing this and know about the work and pleasures from others at times too.
Added by Ancestor Searcher on Sep 02, 2015 11:10 AM
Susan Sparks Leasure
Benjamin Hiner
Thank you so much for checking on the grave of Mr. Hiner. Susan Sparks Leasure
Added by Susan Sparks Leasure on Sep 02, 2015 9:31 AM
Florence Jones Stewart
Thank you for your kindness in providing a grave stone photo - very much appreciated!
Added by MF on Sep 02, 2015 9:06 AM
Linda Lung
Howard Kerr
Thank you so much for the photographs. Much appreciated. Linda
Added by Linda Lung on Sep 02, 2015 7:18 AM
Bonnie White
Ellen Hampton Pacina picture
Thank you so much! It was a nice Photo of my Grandparents Grave.
B. W. Pacina
Added by Bonnie White on Sep 02, 2015 4:12 AM
Rebecca Dunlap
Franklin and Georgia Dunlap
Thank you very very much for these photos!

Becky Dunlap
Added by Rebecca Dunlap on Sep 01, 2015 8:44 PM
Philip Pantall
Brian, Thanks for the great photo !
Added by Marianne on Sep 01, 2015 4:13 PM
Johanna Mossholder
Thanks so much for the transfer!!!
Added by eidolon126 on Sep 01, 2015 12:55 PM
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