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Brian J. Ensley (#47190867)
 member for 7 years, 8 months, 16 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 Ancestry.com. 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.

9) I AM NOT a memorial collector. Since I transcribed over 300 cemeteries in the area and did the legwork to find this information in the heat of summer, swatting bugs, climbing through jagger bushes, and looking on a mountain side all day for a single grave, I've entered many of these graves on here so the information would be preserved, thus the large numbers. BUT, when family wants to manage a memorial, I rarely deny any transfer. Balance that number against the large number of requests fulfilled which shows my real dedication, despite 2 in 10 members ever bothering to thank me for my time and fuel, etc.

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 (3788)[Leave Message]
bluebelles
RE: Transfers & Issue with Charles Beegle
Thanks Brian for looking into this and again I appreciate your acceptance of transfers.
I find this transfer operation slow-going. I will finish eventually.
Best to you.
Added by bluebelles on Jun 25, 2017 10:19 PM
Sheila Harrison
Memorial 71826837
Thank you for guiding me to the more accurate memorial for James McHugh - the photos are great & the Death Certificate is a great bonus. Thanks for all you do.
Added by Sheila Harrison on Jun 25, 2017 8:37 PM
Sheila Harrison
RE: James McHugh #91614391
Thank you so much for the info on James McHugh's other memorial, 71826837, and your willingness to try to get the duplicate memorial deleted. :-)
Added by Sheila Harrison on Jun 25, 2017 8:21 PM
marge Butler
Harry E Smith
THANK YOU FOR THE PHOTOS FOR MY GREAT-UNCLE HARRY. UNTIL RECENTLY (THE LAST SEVERAL YEARS), I HAD NO IDEA ABOUT MY MOTHER'S FAMILY MEMBERS ON EITHER SIDE OF THE FAMILY. HER MOTHER DIED WHEN SHE WAS THREE AND SHE DIDN'T KNOW MUCH ABOUT ANY FAMILY MEMBERS SO EACH TIME I FIND A NEW PIECE OF INFORMATION I AM AMAZED. JUST WISH SHE WERE HERE TO SEE ALL THAT I HAVE FOUND.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE AND FOR BEING SO DILIGENT IN RECORDING THESE CEMETERIES.
Added by marge Butler on Jun 25, 2017 4:53 PM
Cynthia Waring Shockley
RE: Mary Etta (Kimmel) Bach #155983506
Accepted your edits -- thanks for adding more details!

Since Jim Hudson was an only child and he and Mary Etta did not have any children -- and from his father's obit Jim's uncles were scattered to the four winds -- the only family who could have taken on their funerals may have been Mary Etta's. However, from their obits her siblings were mostly gone and none of them had children. Guess the only way to solve the mystery would be to get copies of their death certificates. Unfortunately to obtain their death certificates in Maryland one has to be a surviving relative, authorized representative, funeral director or someone with a "proven legal need." Oh, well ....

Take care,
Cynthia
Added by Cynthia Waring Shockley on Jun 24, 2017 6:38 AM
Cynthia Waring Shockley
RE: Mary Etta (Kimmel) Bach #155983506
Good morning Brian,

No, I'm not related to the Kimmel or Bach family. My family was good friends with Mary Etta (Bach) and Jim Hudson. We all lived in Salisbury, MD until we moved away in 1966. Yesterday I did find the obit for Jim Hudson Jr. that spoke about his memorial service, but no indication of where he would be buried. His memorial service was at St. Paul's in Hebron where we all attended church. There was not an "active" cemetery at St. Paul's. So I'm wondering if the two of them were cremated?

Cynthia
Added by Cynthia Waring Shockley on Jun 24, 2017 5:23 AM
Cheryl Carmany Marr
Wakefield
Appreciate the photos!
Added by Cheryl Carmany Marr on Jun 22, 2017 2:05 PM
Jennifer White
RE: Melvin Hofecker #117579568
Thanks so much Brian. I deeply appreciate your collaborative spirit and the time you take to check into the records. Glad we came to the same conclusion.

Like you, it is not a numbers game for me, but I appreciate your offer to transfer. I'll keep that in mind in the future if you happen to have any of my direct ancestors.

Congrats on your son's wedding! Today is the last day of school for our kids (New England public schools always go late), and I am looking forward to having them all at home and the freedom that comes with summer. They are getting big, ranging from nearly 13 to just turned 3. I agree- time does go by fast!

They actually are helping me document some cemeteries up here, so that will be one of our summer projects. I am lucky that my older girls have caught my passion for preserving local history.

Again, thanks so much for your help and always good to work with you!

Jenny
Added by Jennifer White on Jun 22, 2017 5:57 AM
Diane Nibeck-Smith
Photos
Thank you for the photographs you added for Keith graves. Really appreciate the death certificates also added.
Added by Diane Nibeck-Smith on Jun 21, 2017 6:06 AM
Steve
Lawrence David Peruso 180455416)
Thank you for your time and the gravestone photos.
Added by Steve on Jun 20, 2017 9:58 PM
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