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Brian J. Ensley (#47190867)
 member for 6 years, 11 months, 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 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 ask permission to use it in your own personal family tree such as or just properly cite the source from where you obtained the photo. HOWEVER, on any of my photos, be sure to cite the source to give proper credit.

2) 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.

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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Messages left for Brian J. Ensley (3487)[Leave Message]
Amanda Hrivnak
RE: Hrivnak
I am so so sorry dont know if i answered this but i just found this message ! yes they did own the store in Oakhurts . I have a Question and wondering if you could help my family and I. We are trying to find my Great Great Grandfathers Grave He has no headstone we do know he is Buried in Benshoff Hill cemetery . We did talk to a man and Tried to look up his Plot but unfortunately the page he was to be list under by year was missing. His name is Hamed Nazich D.o.B Sept 1,1888 also his 1st name also could be spelled Hamied date of death Feb. 16th 1941. if you could please send a email to me Thank you so much !
Added by Amanda Hrivnak on Sep 30, 2016 9:00 AM
RE: St. Mary's Byzantine
Hi Brian! :)
If I ever don't process edits quickly enough, feel free to send me a message and tell to do so. I don't know if there's a way to get notifications for when edits need processed, but I'll try to look into that. I forget to check this site everyday and this past month, my mind has been elsewhere but I'll try to remember to check at least once a day from now on.
Happy Autumn! (I love this season!)
- Lori
Added by Lori on Sep 29, 2016 6:38 PM
more 152103083
No problem--I just figured you were the one who added name and dates, but it could have been someone else. And of course it's perfectly OK to keep any that you want for any reason. Eventually you'll have some Bios sent your way.

My wife and I live in Bozeman, MT, and the weather here in September and October is the best of the year, as I think it is most places in the country. I was lucky to be given a ticket to Hawaii the first time I got married, and had an uncle living there, then to have had the opportunity to drive to Alaska in 1988. With those two out of the way, all 50 were in reach, and Oregon was the 50th in 1991, I think it was. I've been fortunate to have seen a lot of it from the air, too--and I agree with you that it really is a beautiful country we live in. And I imagine that most of the people in the world feel the same about their homelands.
Added by RobMinteer57 on Sep 28, 2016 5:01 PM
Thanks for all the transfers! And great job finding name and dates for 152103083. I think you must have the newspaper article for her somewhere--but the one on there now is for a different child.
Added by RobMinteer57 on Sep 27, 2016 8:09 PM
Mildred Zwick
..Thank you for answering my photo request for Mildred Zwick
Added by jmvernal on Sep 27, 2016 11:23 AM
David Brehm
Thank-you for fulfilling my photo request, :-)
Added by jmvernal on Sep 27, 2016 11:20 AM
Jeff Hall
Thank you!
Hello Brian, I wanted to thank you for the exceptional photos that you have added to the memorial of PVT Stanton S Schmeling, they are a great enhancement to his memorial. Nice work!
Added by Jeff Hall on Sep 26, 2016 6:09 PM
Ron Rounsaville
Thanks for the Hobor and Bendick edits and photos. Can you help me find Emma Belle Ewing Gaunt's grave? The death certificate gives the birth date as 10 Mar 1893 and the death date as 16 Mar 1926. The burial is at Barnesboro, PA. There is no cemetery given. You have been a big help in the past. I hope you can help me again. Thanks!
Added by Ron Rounsaville on Sep 26, 2016 4:07 PM
PJ Krostag
RE: McGuirk at St Columba's
Brian, Thanks for your patience and providing such informative replies. They were very helpful.
Added by PJ Krostag on Sep 26, 2016 3:15 PM
PJ Krostag
RE: Palusko

Your dedication to helping other is amazing.

I will assume that even though at one time John and Sarah had a marker at St Columba's the church will have no record of plots and thus since they are long grown over we will have little chance of locating the exact location without the use of some sensing technology and a little digging.

Take Care,

Patrick John (PJ) Krostag
Added by PJ Krostag on Sep 26, 2016 2:50 PM
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