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Brian J. Ensley (#47190867)
 member for 6 years, 11 months, 18 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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 • 86,668 Photos
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Messages left for Brian J. Ensley (3484)[Leave Message]
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
The Reeds
Thank you for sending information about Barbara and Jacob Reed's headstone's.
Added by Susan on Sep 26, 2016 2:30 PM
PJ Krostag
McGuirk at St Columba's
My Greatparents on my mothers side McGuirk are at St Columba's in Johnstown.
John = 170191932 Sarah = 170192018

I noticed that you created a memorial for their son Joseph at Columba's = 130047209 based on his Death Cert. I have subsequently linked him to his parents memorials that I created.

On my recent visit to Johnstown with my mother we visited St Columba's. She remembered visiting the graves many years ago. They were small in ground stones.
She remembers they were in the lower left of the cemetery when facing it from D street. I did look for them without success. My mother heard that that area of the cemetery may have flood and left mud and thus the stones have long since been grown over.

I have a question for you since you have done extensive work in the Johnstown area. I would like to find out the location of the plots. I noticed that St Columba's is now part of the Resurrection parish. I found their website and it seems that I could contact them about this. From your experience do you think that Resurrection will have a plot map for the St Columba's cemetery. We are considering placing a upright stone if we can locate the plot.

Thank You
Added by PJ Krostag on Sep 26, 2016 2:23 PM
PJ Krostag
Brian, Thank you so much for taking the time to research Palusko and provide the correct information for the memorials - including the Death Cert and the Photos. You do incredible work. These were my father's grandparents on his mother's side. I was St Stephens a couple of weeks ago with my mother on a vacation to visit her hometown from Chicago. I live in Oregon. She knew they were in St Stephens but knew very little about the family. This was the last cemetery of the day and I ran out of time to search the hilly cemetery. I am grateful that you were to find them and took the extra step of verifying the information.
Added by PJ Krostag on Sep 26, 2016 2:03 PM
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