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Brian J. Ensley (#47190867)
 member for 5 years, 14 days
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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. 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.

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 (2299)[Leave Message]
Just...thank you!
I came across a comment you made that just made me think - what a wonderful contributor! I certainly have benefitted from memorials and am grateful to those who created them - BUT it's starting to look like there are 'self-proclaimed professional gravers' whose focus is how many memorials they can create, and maintaining strict control of them.
Incorrect or incomplete data is a HUGE problem, and often impossible to get corrected. Sad part is, we can't create a 'correct' memorial because these 'territorial' contributors report it as a duplicate. I so very, very much appreciate contributors who go the extra mile - as it seems you do - in ensuring accuracy.
Another problem: photos of headstones that aren't legible (why post if no one can make out what it says??) Or, they add photos (up to max. limit) so no one else (including you as the creator!) can add a photo. {And WT?? IF walking cemetery to obtain names, and family members are adjacent - why not link their memorials - or at least add that to memorial?]
Yes, VERY common for headstones to have incorrect info. For most part info provided to funeral home and cemetery comes from family member (when there is a family member) and they frequently don't remember dates, or maybe the decedent fudged, or didn't even know. I'm seeing a lot of places of birth that have been outright changed thru the years; example: born in Austria, but after a few censuses, that just changed to Pennsylvania. Who would know? Same person, birth date furnished on death certificate was incorrect. (And mom's maiden name, if known, may end up with multiple spellings.)
I realize that the purpose of Find a Grave is to record 'graves' - period. Genealogy researchers have jumped in and are utilizing as a research source - and I perceive also trying to create entries that will help future researchers by adding more than birth and death dates and linking family. And, I can't count how many individuals I've found by accident, when scanning names - people that I actually did a search for and they didn't show up. Find A Grave search parameters are really strict.
Perhaps what we need is an alternative (new!) website that is genealogy focused - just expands the Find A Grave concept into genealogy! Or - just more members like you!! Sorry I got carried away with my thoughts - the ONLY reason I decided to send you a message was to thank you!!
Added by AlaskanPrincess on Oct 25, 2014 5:41 PM
Harry Hawkins
I don't think there is a headstone for Harry. A picture of the Baby Section would be a great treasure. Thanks for your volunteer work. Peggy
Added by pz on Oct 25, 2014 5:15 PM
Kathleen Cronin Chapman
Anna Chapman
I absolutely agree...the death certifs have soo many clues...everyday the graves and information gets older..and soo much lost. I got chewed out by a contributor who said "we have to go by the marker" the rules in FAQ!" I have been doing this about a yr and have read and learned sooo much. I have matched so many "strangers" to their families, I'm a mom and feel good about it.
BTW the owner took ur suggestions and "fixed" the name that makes so much sense. Thank u again, Kathy Chapman
Added by Kathleen Cronin Chapman on Oct 25, 2014 4:46 PM
Thank you ~ Eggeson research
Thanks so much for your help researching and identifying the Eggeson/Dabbs/Blue family.

Added by cbb on Oct 25, 2014 1:39 PM
Kathleen Cronin Chapman
Anna Chapman
Thank u for ur prompt attention to taking Anna's tombstone...clears up some family questions....thank u again, great job, Kathy
Added by Kathleen Cronin Chapman on Oct 25, 2014 1:26 PM
Sheila (Horn) Strickler
Thank you so much Brian for the pics of Walter and Margaret. I had friends that were Sechrists as I was growing up, but never thought I would be related to that family, samll world. Thanks again, Sheila
Added by Sheila (Horn) Strickler on Oct 20, 2014 5:25 AM
Tim Wilkinson
Roscoe Custer
Thank you very much for the gravestone photo. Nice job.
Added by Tim Wilkinson on Oct 16, 2014 7:07 PM
Tweety Emmett
Cassidy Clan and Mintzers

Lol. Good luck with your knee surgery, painful healing process, you'll certainly need something to keep your mind busy. Thanks again.

Added by Tweety Emmett on Oct 16, 2014 7:00 PM
Tweety Emmett
Thomas, Gertrude, Raymond, Dorthy Cassidy, & Mintzers

Regarding my Cassidy Clan, and two cemeteries with quite a bit of distance between the two. You've been busy, thank you so very much for all of your hard work, I certainly know how involved it is to do the volunteer work that you do. I see you found two more family members and thank you for creating memorials for them, I am assuming they are Gertrude Mintzer Cassidy's parents.

I know how time consuming it can be, I just want to say I appreciate your help. Thank you so very much. You have a wonderful day.

Added by Tweety Emmett on Oct 16, 2014 11:55 AM
D K LeRoy
Burdette Bowers Memorial # 29230291
Thank you for taking the picture of the tombstone of Burdette and Louise Bowers.
It is appreciated
Added by D K LeRoy on Oct 16, 2014 10:23 AM
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