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Brian J. Ensley (#47190867)
 member for 5 years, 10 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 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 (2969)[Leave Message]
Grandview Cemetery - photos of Andrew & Dorothy Vital graves
Dear Brian;

Thank you for taking photos of the graves for my parents - Andrew and Dorothy Vital.

However, I had not realized that the bushes had grown so, and had thought the Cemetery would have taken better care - considering that they were paid well for Perpetual Care.

That said, would you please remove the photos of the grave site which you entered - as the landscaping around these graves need care. I am going to speak to Grandview Cemetery tomorrow about removing the bushes and taking better care of the grave sites.

I may ask you to retake photos of these graves after the landscaping work is completed.

Sorry for any inconvenience - but your photos brought the problem to my attention which is much appreciated.

Tina Vital
Added by Tina on Aug 31, 2015 6:26 PM
Liz Johnson
Thank you for the pictures! They were very helpful!
Added by Liz Johnson on Aug 31, 2015 12:31 PM
Melvin Repine
Thank you for the photo of the stone of Melvine Repine, it is greatly apprecially.
Added by Lulabell on Aug 31, 2015 6:42 AM
Tricia Childress
148478524 Anna Rager Delaney
Thank you SO much for taking the photo of my ancestor's headstone! It is interesting that she included her first husband's name (who died tragically in a train accident) on the headstone and is buried with that family. I would never have known about the name on the headstone without your photo. Thank you, Brian.
Added by Tricia Childress on Aug 31, 2015 12:41 AM
Blairsville Cemetery
Many many thanks for all the photos from here. The military won't offer another position/transfer? How about the PA Air National Guard?
Added by mygenpassion on Aug 30, 2015 9:15 PM
John E George
Thank for you for the work have done on this memorial and for transferring him
Added by Marcia on Aug 30, 2015 7:01 PM
Vicki of MN
Thomas and Hanna Mayhood
Brian, thank you so much for the Mayhood (135099646) grave stone photos. Great job! I also checked out your work on the Blough Cemetery. Quite a transformation in such a short time. I share your opinion of the importance of documenting in photos the information found on grave markers. Find A Grave offers the perfect means to do so.
Added by Vicki of MN on Aug 30, 2015 3:24 PM
Harold howell
Clair Pebley
Thank you for adding the death certificate to Clair Pebley, I updated his information as well as his mothers. I thank you so much you have been a big help to me.

Harold Eugene " Gene" Howell
Added by Harold howell on Aug 30, 2015 2:06 PM
Dale Shaffer
Robert Drinosky
Once again Brian thank you for the photo of Bob's headstone. Your devotion to this website is so appreciated. Dale
Added by Dale Shaffer on Aug 30, 2015 1:48 PM
Harold howell
The Pebley's
My dear find a grave friend thank you for the super job as always. And thank you for getting the photographs of the headstone of Effie Duppstadt Pebley, Oliver Pebley, Wilson and his wife, Martha, Clair Pebley, Ruth Pebley, Merle Pebley.
I greatly appreciate it.
Hope you have a great week ahead
Thanks again
Harold Eugene "Gene" Howell
Added by Harold howell on Aug 30, 2015 1:38 PM
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