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Brian J. Ensley (#47190867)
 member for 6 years, 1 month, 20 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.

The new agreement with Ancestry does not allow people to post photos from this website to Ancestry without first getting permission. Both sites make it very clear the copyright holder retains copyright and you need his/her permission to use any photo. Under U.S. copyright law, photos taken after 1977 are covered by copyright without the need to register it, use the (c), circled c, copyright, or any other notice. Using someone else's photo with citation is not a substitution for needing permission.

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. AND, Find-A-Grave FAQ's page states that they allow Death Certificates to be placed on memorials.

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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 • 35,630 Memorials Added
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 • 75,515 Photos
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Messages left for Brian J. Ensley (3158)[Leave Message]
Donna Rae "Mitchell" Grimes
Weaver - Jones
Thank-you for linking all of my
Great Aunt Helens information
to her and our family. Appreciate it.
Added by Donna Rae "Mitchell" Grim... on Nov 30, 2015 8:25 PM
Gail Davis
I'm having trouble locating a cemetery in your area. Is there a Hetrick cemetery near there? I have a death certificate for a child that states he was buried in the Hetrick cemetery in Windber. It is not on findagrave. Thought maybe you would know. Thanks.

Gail Davis
Added by Gail Davis on Nov 29, 2015 9:19 AM
Hi Brian, Hope you had a good Thanksgiving. I am finally getting into all of the emails with the photos that you have posted. Thank you so much for all of your hard work. So disappointing that some of the old headstones are gone. Have a great day !!
Added by gardengirl on Nov 29, 2015 8:17 AM
Charles Patterson
Sarah Erhard

Thanks once again for your time and photo. Your work is always appreciated. Hope you had a wonderful thanksgiving!

Added by Charles Patterson on Nov 28, 2015 9:54 AM
Gail Davis
Thank you for the information and transfer. I greatly appreciate it. You are so good!

Gail Davis
Added by Gail Davis on Nov 27, 2015 9:20 AM
Thank-you Brian for answering the photo requests. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.
Added by Joanne on Nov 25, 2015 4:56 AM
Forest Lawn Memorial Park
Thanks for the Nicely photos.
Added by mygenpassion on Nov 24, 2015 8:07 PM
Tom Schoening
Catherine Erhard
Brian, Thanks for the update and correction.

Want to wish You and (Esp) Your Better Half a Very Happy Thanksgiving.

Your Turkey Friend - Tom
Added by Tom Schoening on Nov 24, 2015 5:54 PM
carol fasc
Thanks so much for the it's alright if I post it in my Ancestry tree???...all that fine print is a little intimidating...I have been taking volunteer photos for only about 7 months and hopefully I'm not doing anything wrong...I've gotten some remarks from caretakers about getting paid for this and have to assure them it's a hobby but saying that, is there something about posting pictures that I'm missing???...I've been trying to document an old Italian cemetery in the Buffalo area after I had seen the damage some idiot did by taking a BB gun to those beautiful photo medallions...I know how many hours this work can take!!...Carol
Added by carol fasc on Nov 24, 2015 3:52 PM
Gerry Freed
RE: David Cornelis
Thank You For The Follow-Up Up-Date !!

In HIS Service
Gerry Freed
Added by Gerry Freed on Nov 23, 2015 6:45 AM
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