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Brian J. Ensley (#47190867)
 member for 7 years, 1 month, 24 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 (3555)[Leave Message]
Amanda Hagedorn
Thank You
Thank you very much I appreciate it!!
Added by Amanda Hagedorn on Dec 02, 2016 3:36 PM
Randy Howard
Thank You
Thank You Brain for adding the pictures for the Hudson's and Schmadel at Grandview Cemetery. I greatly appreciate it. is a wonderful thing. Finding more and more relatives in the Cambria/Somerset county area. I am sure I will have more photo requests.

Thanks Again,

Randy Howard
Added by Randy Howard on Nov 29, 2016 6:06 PM
Tomi Larson
Mary Smith gravesite
Thank you for the photo - although there was no gravestone, this adds to the history of Mary Smith.

Added by Tomi Larson on Nov 29, 2016 12:50 PM
jaime manning
RE: Catherine Pasierb
Thank you so much for continuing researching her!
Added by jaime manning on Nov 27, 2016 1:00 PM
Kristi Rogers
RE: Michael Strank Memorial Park Photos
Thanks again for everything! I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas and a happy New Year!
Added by Kristi Rogers on Nov 26, 2016 8:57 AM
Kristi Rogers
RE: Barbara Zivkovich's grave
That would be wonderful! I bought a DVD documentary about Michael Strank a few months ago. Thanks again for your time.
Happy Thanksgiving and God Bless you and your family.
Added by Kristi Rogers on Nov 24, 2016 8:38 AM
Marta R. Gaughen
Sheehan markers
Thanks Brian,
It's pretty with the snow. I guess you're getting to meet my whole extended family 😉 Happy Thanksgiving
Added by Marta R. Gaughen on Nov 23, 2016 4:52 PM
Kristi Rogers
RE: Barbara Zivkovich's grave
Thanks so much ! I sent your check today. Michael Strank, the flag raiser is a distant cousin of mine.
Added by Kristi Rogers on Nov 23, 2016 4:01 PM
RE: Robert Biddlecombe #64917509

i've sent some informations and pics in your mail box

have a nice day,

Daniel BON
from France
Added by patootie on Nov 23, 2016 3:08 PM
Kristi Rogers
RE: Barbara Zivkovich's grave
Here are the obituaries I would like:
1. Joseph Strank
Died: July 16, 1937
2. Mary Strank
Died: October 30, 1960
3. Katherine Strank Holub
Died: July 1, 1987
4. Michael "Zoom" Strank
Died: August 13, 1997
5. John Strank
Died: December 1983 (Sorry, I don't have the exact day)

Thank you for your time. Please let me know what I owe you.
Added by Kristi Rogers on Nov 22, 2016 9:11 PM
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