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Brian J. Ensley (#47190867)
 member for 5 years, 6 months, 15 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.

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 (2700)[Leave Message]
Virginia Sobotkin
RE: Grandview
Yes, Brain it was me. I am especially interested in the two statues facing opposite directions. One depicts the children lost, as I recall. My camera could not bring any of the statues into focus. They were too high.

Thank you so much.
Virginia W. Sobotkin
Added by Virginia Sobotkin on Apr 27, 2015 3:58 AM
Tom Schoening
RE: Austin Rea
Brian - That's OK - Understand that some of those old cemeteries up there are loaded with "Rattlesnakes" anyway - Thanks for the info.

Regards - Tom
Added by Tom Schoening on Apr 26, 2015 6:37 PM
Tom Schoening
Austin Rea
Brian - Thanking You in advance for processing the link to Austin's family. Noticed that You have ventured into the Fruit Hill Cemetery, which is of great interest to me. I currently have about 150 of the almost 800 memorials for that cemetery. Should You ever be going that way again, please advise, as I am looking for a number of people (some my own Kin).

Again Thanks and Happy Spring - Tom
Added by Tom Schoening on Apr 26, 2015 9:08 AM
Sutton family

Thank you for posting photos of the gravesites of John Sutton, Harry Sutton and Margaret Rose (John was Margaret's first husband and Harry is their grandson). They were poor and the family probably could not afford markers, which is ascertained by the photos.
Added by Anonymous on Apr 25, 2015 10:54 AM
Margaret McElliott
Thank you so much
Brian, what a surprise to find so much new on my Johnstown families. I was just so very pleased to see all you had found and posted for the Burns, Preston, Laffey, Rattigan (and probably more) families! You surely made my day. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!!!
Added by Margaret McElliott on Apr 24, 2015 10:02 PM
Thank you so very much. You have been such a big help to me with my family in Pennsylvania.
Added by CCoronado on Apr 22, 2015 8:33 AM
Michael S. Caldwell
Brackens & Gilberts
Brian, thanks once more for chasing down tombstones in Grandview! You are such a great resource and treasure. Have a beautiful spring! -- MSC
Added by Michael S. Caldwell on Apr 22, 2015 5:46 AM
Harry Rogers
Seese Transfers
Brian, thank you for the Seese transfers. I appreciate all your time and dedication to Find A Grave as every stone tells a story of someones life and I enjoy piecing them all together as they should be.
Added by Harry Rogers on Apr 22, 2015 5:11 AM
Chris Rice
Headstone Photos
Thanks so much for the headstone photos for James M Law and Flora Law.
Did you notice if James' wife Elizabeth Isabella Gemmell Law was buried by him?
Added by Chris Rice on Apr 21, 2015 8:00 PM
Catherine Carbaugh
Thank you so much for taking the time to get such a beautiful photo of my Great Aunt Catherine and Great Uncle John's headstone.
Added by Patti on Apr 21, 2015 2:04 PM
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