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Brian J. Ensley (#47190867)
 member for 6 years, 7 months, 17 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 Ancestry.com. HOWEVER, on any of my photos, be sure to cite the source to give proper credit.

The new agreement with Ancestry does not allow people to post photos from this website to Ancestry without first getting permission. Both sites make it very clear the copyright holder retains copyright and you need his/her permission to use any photo. Under U.S. copyright law, photos taken after 1977 are covered by copyright without the need to register it, use the (c), circled c, copyright, or any other notice. Using someone else's photo with citation is not a substitution for needing permission.

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 (3324)[Leave Message]
Harry Rogers
Ralph Shaffer
Thanks for the photo marking the grave lot for future references. Snow in May, surprising. We are just starting winter here in New Zealand. We don't see much snow at all in Christchurch. It's always nice when it arrives.
Added by Harry Rogers on May 29, 2016 3:26 AM
Natalie
Miorelli
Thank you for posting the photo for Silvio Miorelli!
Added by Natalie on May 26, 2016 7:11 PM
TWisler
Donald and Sarah Holder
Thank you for the photos of the Holders at Jennerstown Cemetery.
Added by TWisler on May 26, 2016 6:37 PM
YEP
Pearl Mae Vincent Smith
Thank you so much for taking the photo. Your effort is greatly appreciated.
Added by YEP on May 25, 2016 1:03 PM
Nancy Leathers
Russell James Hay
Thank you very much for the photo. I really appreciate it.
Added by Nancy Leathers on May 25, 2016 8:00 AM
MelissaToddy
Levi and Lovina Harding
THANK YOU SO MUCH for the lovely photo of my Great-Great-Grandparents grave! This is my mom's mom's father's parents. I never expected there to even be a marker and it is so beautiful! I can't thank you enough.
Added by MelissaToddy on May 25, 2016 6:44 AM
mygenpassion
Jenners Crossroads Cemetery
Thank you for the Lenhart photos.
Added by mygenpassion on May 24, 2016 7:41 PM
Jeffrey Sarver
Agnes & Walter Ellsworth
Thanks for you taking time and photographing the headstones and adding the Obits.

Jeff in Virginia
Added by Jeffrey Sarver on May 23, 2016 5:35 PM
Carolina Grave Hunter
RE: Elma Newman Marshall #162939825
You are AWESOME!!!

Great P. I. Work!!! Thank you so much for going the extra mile on this family.

Have a wonderful evening,
Vicky
Added by Carolina Grave Hunter on May 23, 2016 3:17 PM
Carolina Grave Hunter
RE: Elma Newman Marshall #162939825
Hi Brian,

First of all Thank You for your Service!!!

Secondly thank you for taking the time to try and find a headstone for Elma. It is so sad to see a cemetery that has not been properly maintained over the years and it happens way too often.

I did add her DC to document the cemetery where she was buried in case she didn't get a headstone. I was hoping she might have one and also share it with her husband.

If you do find an obit, that would be wonderful!!! I am helping a lady I connected with on Findagrave since she found some of the Newman's I had added to a small African American church in Chesterfield County, NC. She shared a wonderful story about her four times great grandfather Miles Newman born a slave in 1803 who is buried at New Hope United Methodist Church in Chesterfield County. There is a simple wooden cross for Miles and his wife Ann in the cemetery. One has a small iron bird that was supposed to be made by her four times great grandfather who was a blacksmith. She thought that the birds had been stolen but one still exists. My friend and I got nice photos and finished photographing the entire cemetery.

Thanks again for sending me information about the cemetery and for taking the time to try and locate her information.

Have a great evening!!!
Vicky Matlock
Added by Carolina Grave Hunter on May 22, 2016 8:48 PM
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