Begin New Search
Refine Last Search
Cemetery Lookup
Add Burial Records
Help with Find A Grave

Top Contributors
Success Stories
Community Forums
Find A Grave Store

Log In

Changes are coming to Find A Grave. See a preview now.

Staff Sergeant (Ret) Brian J. Ensley (#47190867)
 member for 8 years, 10 days
[Add to MyFriends]
Bio and Links
Bio Photo I'm retired from Active Duty after my Apache (AH-64D) Attack Reconnaissance Battalion was disbanded and due to service connected injuries that led to permanent disabilities. So with retirement coming earlier than expected, I'm afforded with more time to devote to research.

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.

Of the 300+ cemeteries I have transcribed, when I create memorials 99% of them are from sites that I have personally visited because I believe that a memorial represents a person's life and is more than just the minimum of a name and date. I go above and beyond by adding as much data as possible through research because I treat each memorial with the same care and respect as if they were my own family.

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, 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 15-20% of 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!
Leave Public Message
Contributions to
Find A Grave
 • 39,930 Memorials Added
 • 40,495 Memorials Managed
 • 95 Memorials/Week
 • 96,411 Photos
 • 71 Photo Requests
 • 16,120 Volunteer Photos Taken
 • 20,114 Virtual Flowers
 • 10 Virtual Cemeteries
 • 6 Fame Ratings
 • 6 Sponsorships
 • 125 Friends
Search Contributor's Records

First NameLast Name

Virtual Cemeteries
1977 Johnstown Flood Vict... (76)
1984 Class of Greater Joh... (11)
1st BN 103rd Armor PA Nat... (29)
54th Pennsylvania Volunte... (346)
5th Pennsylvania Heavy Ar... (139)
Co C 1-110th Infantry, PA... (2)
Lee Hospital (Johnstown, ... (83)
Oakhurst Homes Neighbors ... (105)
Rolling Mill Mine Disaste... (8)
Unknown and Unidentified (23)
Find A Grave Friends
adan, Albert Ledoux, Alberticoღ..., Amanda Smith, Amy Rhine, Ancestor Search..., Andii1814, Anne-Marie Gabo..., annie, b g, B. Felix, Barb Kopshina, Barbara B, Barbara Farlow, BarbaraArdisCok..., Betty Sears, Bill Daugherty, Bob Valentine J..., Bob Wissinger, Bonnie Sallada, [View all Find A Grave Friends...]
Messages left for Staff Sergeant ... (3906)[Leave Message]
Stephanie Haslam
Sarah Fender Weaver
Thanks Brian for transferring!
Added by Stephanie Haslam on Oct 19, 2017 3:28 PM
Re: Photos
Thank you for all the wonderful photos, I will be sending more requests in the next few days. Have a great day.

Added by Michelle💕ღ on Oct 19, 2017 11:16 AM
Marta R. Gaughen
As always, thanks Brian.
Added by Marta R. Gaughen on Oct 16, 2017 12:59 PM
Jaye Drummond
RE: Michael Dorian

Thank so very much for offering to do that. If you don't mind, when you check Ledoux for Michael Dorian, can you also check for his wife Fanny Ward Dorian, and also Thomas McKernan and Anne Galligan McDermott McKernan (husband and wife)? I would really appreciate it. Obituary for Fanny states she was from County Donegal, whereas for the McKernans it is County Cavan. I am hoping to find a parish or townland for all but am not hopeful. Again I really appreciate your assistance in this. Meanwhile I will keep trying to reach the parish for the burial records.


Added by Jaye Drummond on Oct 16, 2017 8:04 AM
Marvin Edwin Erwin, Jr.
Photo for Infant Son Head
Thank you for taking the photo Infant Son Head. I see that it is unmarked with just flowers to mark the site.

Added by Marvin Edwin Erwin, Jr. on Oct 15, 2017 9:18 PM
Jaye Drummond
RE: Michael Dorian
Thank you, Brian.

Do you know if there are sexton's records? I emailed Resurrection Parish about a month ago with their request forms but have had no response.

I am doing a project on the Dorians for a client and am trying to determine Michael's parish or at least county of birth in ireland. His obituary mentions neither.

Thanks again,

Added by Jaye Drummond on Oct 12, 2017 3:43 PM
Armagh Cemetery
Thanks again for all the photos.
Added by mygenpassion on Oct 10, 2017 11:08 AM
Norma R. Wolfe
RE: Frank Rerko
Hi Brian,
I am very grateful to you for looking for the grave stone. When I attached the Find A Grave Memorial to Frank Rerko on the death year that was shown is 1989. Whoever indexed the record made a mistake. It looks like this:
Name Frank Rerko
Event Type Burial
Event Date 1989
Event Place Johnstown, Cambria, Pennsylvania, United States of America
Photograph Included N
Birth Date 08 Feb 1880
Death Date 16 May 1989
Affiliate Record Identifier 177434841
Cemetery Saint Stephens Cemetery

Thank you again for your wonderful work!
Sincerely, Norma Wolfe
Added by Norma R. Wolfe on Oct 08, 2017 10:43 PM
Paul Gaus
RE: Your Dad
No hurry, take your time. And more importantly, take care of yourself.
Added by Paul Gaus on Oct 08, 2017 7:30 PM
Paul Gaus
RE: Your Dad
He saw only 49 state because his car would not float. He really wanted to hit 50 but my mother was not interested in the boat trip he was planning. He wanted to go by boat because he made stops there in the Navy during WWII.

My father had a lot of genealogical information and after he died it was left to me to do something with it. After finding 'Find A Grave' I decided to methodically go through my relatives and add what information that I could. While I am doing it I am researching the individuals on to increase my confidence in the information. This is also enhancing the database that I have.

Your help has been much appreciated.
Added by Paul Gaus on Oct 07, 2017 6:21 PM
[View all messages...]

Privacy Statement and Terms of Service