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Brian J. Ensley (#47190867)
 member for 7 years, 10 months, 11 days
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Bio Photo I started out in the Air Force for a short time in the early 1980's, had a 15 year break working at a local hospital, and now I'm active duty with the PA Army National Guard (AGR) in an Apache (AH-64D) Attack Reconnaissance Battalion (soon to retire any time now this Autumn of 2017).

I had a chance to accept a direct commission in 2003 but decided not to take it over having to move away from my children who were still young yet and living with my first wife. But to me, a strong relationship with them now is worth retiring as a Staff Sergeant. 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.

If you have a minute, feel free to visit my mother’s memorial Connie Ensley and if so inclined leave a flower if you wish.

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) Please credit me if using my photos elsewhere!! This includes Ancestry.com, your personal genealogy page, etc. I don't mind if you use my photos, just please cite your source!

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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Contributions to
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 • 39,737 Memorials Added
 • 40,284 Memorials Managed
 • 97 Memorials/Week
 • 94,793 Photos
 • 68 Photo Requests
 • 15,837 Volunteer Photos Taken
 • 18,934 Virtual Flowers
 • 10 Virtual Cemeteries
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 • 118 Friends
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1977 Johnstown Flood Vict... (76)
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1st BN 103rd Armor PA Nat... (29)
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Co C 1-110th Infantry, PA... (2)
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Messages left for Brian J. Ensley (3841)[Leave Message]
Barbara B
Ann Andrews
Hi Brian, Be glad to transfer this memorial to you if you would like. Barbara B.
Added by Barbara B on Aug 21, 2017 6:34 PM
J R Wheeler
Wheeler and Walker families
Wow! Thank you for adding Jane Walker Wheeler to the Rural Valley Cemetery and posting the death certificate and marraige application. And thank for all the work you are doing.
Added by J R Wheeler on Aug 21, 2017 2:27 AM
G. C.
The Baldwin Photographs


Thank-you for the beautiful photos of the elegant head stones of the Baldwins siblings: Charles N. Baldwin, Robert Baldwin, Oliver P. Baldwin and Clara Baldwin.

Charles N. Baldwin was my grandfathers second father. He taught my grandfather, a trade, that he
used for all his years and made a living out of it.


Added by G. C. on Aug 20, 2017 4:11 PM
Sherie Robey
Foust Cemetery in PA
Thank you for your work. John Foust is related to my grandma's side of the family. Have you been back to the place since you have taken the photos? I am looking for all of the Foust ... maybe you can help.
Added by Sherie Robey on Aug 16, 2017 10:56 PM
screenname
RE: Mary Migut (1918-1918) #147278894
Thank you so much on the Migut family behalf. I wish I could of got to know Frances (Bray) Migut. It appears that I'am a bit to late. We hoped we could reach the Migut's in this area. Many of us near the Chicago area recently discovered our family members also migrated to Pennsylvania after the war. The other half made it to Chicago some to never see or hear from there loved ones again. Many of us thought they perished in concentration camps. I had taken a DNA test and I'm really excited to know a few DNA matches have come alive after all these years in Pennsylvania from this past Christmas. My DNA was taken years ago just waiting for a match. Now the hard part tracking them down. We are supposed to be holding a family reunion this coming Labor Day weekend. I hope to be in touch with anyone before the next reunion, and we can connect one day. I'm very excited about all of this. - Sister Migut
Added by screenname on Aug 15, 2017 3:07 AM
screenname
Find A Grave Memorial# 147043732
Once again, thank you so much for all your help. It is wonderful to have folks like you that will go above and beyond to help complete total strangers. I hope one day to be able to return the favor. - Sister Migut
Added by screenname on Aug 15, 2017 2:57 AM
screenname
Find A Grave Memorial# 147043860
Thank you for taking the photo of my cousin Nicole's marker. Your truly a blessing to my family. - Sister Migut
Added by screenname on Aug 15, 2017 2:56 AM
screenname
Find A Grave Memorial# 147278894
Thank you for trying to locate the headstone for Mary Migut. Although, no marker exists the death certificate is much appreciated for our family records. - Sister Migut
Added by screenname on Aug 15, 2017 2:45 AM
screenname
Find A Grave Memorial# 151431475
Thank you so much for taking a photo of my cousins marker & posting her pic with it. I'm trying to learn about this side of the family as much as as possible. Our family was torn apart by war and landed eventually all over the United States. It has taken us decades to find each other. Our family reunion is coming up, and it would be great to see the found families would be willing to join us. You truly are a blessing to our family for all your efforts. - Sister Migut
Added by screenname on Aug 15, 2017 2:29 AM
dare2dream
Harrison Burris 182005744
Hi Brian!

Thank you so much for the photos you posted for Harrison Burris in the Grandview Cemetery. Your kindness is deeply appreciated.
Added by dare2dream on Aug 11, 2017 9:43 PM
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