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Brian J. Ensley (#47190867)
 member for 4 years, 9 months
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Bio and Links
Bio Photo I have been involved with genealogy since around 1982 and have published several books on area cemeteries as well as local history. 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. 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 Ancestry.com. 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.

I appreciate all of the hard work my fellow volunteers and contributors have made to this site!
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Messages left for Brian J. Ensley (2102)[Leave Message]
pkarchs
Nice. . . .
. . . bio which I stumbled upon. I underscore your priorities, too rare here but on the rise.

Philip in NYC
Added by pkarchs on Jul 11, 2014 12:40 AM
Denise Conrad Wagner
Grandview
Brian, I am almost in tears! I am just now realizing you were at Grandview today and took pics of Karl Moeller, my ggrandfather. I've been looking for him for years. Thank you so much! I had no idea his daughter Marie was buried there as well. I can't thank you enough.
Added by Denise Conrad Wagner on Jul 10, 2014 5:15 PM
Elizabeth
John Rile (Roel) Memorial# 77752378
Thank you Brian. That solves the mystery of my Civil War Veteran. Elizabeth
Added by Elizabeth on Jul 10, 2014 5:11 PM
Denise Conrad Wagner
Katherine Sann Schwing
I just happened to notice you added Katherine's death certificate to her memorial. Thanks!!
Added by Denise Conrad Wagner on Jul 10, 2014 4:44 PM
Art Dubell
Kosmatin
Hi Brain
Thank you so very much for taking the grave picture for me.Thank you for your time.Have a great day
Added by Art Dubell on Jul 09, 2014 3:58 PM
GenSleuth
Maria Pickworth Wayland
Thank you so much for taking such a great photo of my 3x great-grandmother's grave. Also appreciate the Death Cert. And lastly, thank you for your service to this country, as well as this site!
Added by GenSleuth on Jul 08, 2014 7:05 PM
Andrew Strauss
David Margroum
Thanks for the information on David Margroum's unmarked grave. Nancy Leslie would have been his mother in-law.
Added by Andrew Strauss on Jul 08, 2014 1:40 PM
Joanne
Grandview Cemetery link
Hi Brian,
thanks for the tip on Grandview Cemetery. I have known about it for some time now and am really thrilled with it. I wanted to put the link to it on the Grandview Cemetery listing on Find A Grave.. (the link that is on there now is out of date and doesn't work), but I guess a person doesn't have the option to add or fix anything on the actual cemetery listing unless they are the the one who initially set that cemetery up on Find A Grave. :-(
..As I said, I was really thrilled with the option to be able to look up interments at Grandview. Now, for the bummer.
Grandview evidentally keeps sloppy records, they aren't accurate. a couple of weeks ago, I found a big error in the interment of someone I was looking up. Francis Tompkins died in 2011, http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=130694399 They have her death recorded as 2013. http://grandviewjohnstownpa.com/interment-details.php?inter_no=68905 I emailed them and told them I was very grateful for this option to be able to look people up, but wanted to let them know about the error. I never heard from them.
..Today I found another one.
On John Kuzmyak. they have his death date as May 31, 1984 and his interment date as June 4, 1985. Either he died in 1985 or his interment date is 1984, I don't know which and won't know until someone takes a photo of his marker or finds a copy of his obit. I don't think that they took a year and 4 days to bury him. I sent a suggestion to the manager of his memorial to link him to his spouse, but for someone that may have known them, they will think that that is not him IF he died in 1985 and not 1984.
.I let the first error slide with me,everyone makes mistakes, but now the second one? I rarely look anything up at Grandview. There ar tens of thousands of burials at Grandview. We are going to have to watch our info that we take from Grandview with a grain of salt. Probably the only thing we can depend on is the plot and that's important enough.
..I think the person who did John Kuzmyak's memorial took the information from this Grandview site and made many memorials that way (that's the way it appears to me anyhow as they added all the Kuzmyaks at Grandview with just that info.
If they did, they may have entered a lot of mistakes by Grandview. Thanks again Brian
Added by Joanne on Jul 06, 2014 4:07 PM
Janice Hollandsworth
Franklin Sheehan
Thank you for taking the time to get this photo request for me. I appreciate it.
Added by Janice Hollandsworth on Jul 06, 2014 2:19 PM
mbm1311
Bridget Collins
Hi Brian,

Thank you for picture of the Collins gravestone. I know those old shiny ones are tough but I can read the inscription.

Mary Beth
Added by mbm1311 on Jul 06, 2014 12:46 PM
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