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Brian J. Ensley (#47190867)
 member for 7 years, 5 months, 18 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.

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 (3676)[Leave Message]
RE: Maxine Blattenberger
Hello, thanks for your work. I texted my cousin to ask his Mom, (my Aunt) because she will know what is correct. My Dad was born in 1933, he was the first born. I thought she was at least 18, when she had him, but 1916 would make her 17. That is why I think the gravestone is incorrect, not the certificate. Her sister, my great aunt, is still alive, but in a nursing home. But hopefully my cousin can get the facts from one of them. They still are in the Johnstown area.
Added by Oodb on Mar 30, 2017 10:05 AM
RE: P.S.-
Dear Brian;

I have deleted the gravestone photo on William Leber's memorial. I assume now that I have not used any of 'your' photos of 'my' family members.

I would welcome your help if you would like to add any of 'your' gravestone photos to these memorials.

Please do not get so defensive and critical - I appreciate your efforts, and this was a misunderstanding.

Added by Tina on Mar 30, 2017 5:53 AM
George Hamilton
RE: Thelma Hodge #117579521
Thank you. I would be proud to manage this memorial. I have put in a photo request.
Added by George Hamilton on Mar 30, 2017 5:29 AM
Thank You
Thank You for Bernard Nyanko Julie Budai Nyanko's Grave Photos. Are you related to the Nyankos or Bachas?
Added by Bastin on Mar 29, 2017 2:36 PM
William Donahey
Elmer Lenhart
Thank you Brian.
Added by William Donahey on Mar 28, 2017 11:53 AM
RE: Hi
Yes, thank you!!
Added by jshultz on Mar 26, 2017 3:57 PM
Edward Kuyat
Thank-you for the cropped photo of Edward Kuyat. Ed is my mother's cousin and I never seen this picture before. I was wondering if you had the whole photo. It probably has more of my mother's family on it. Thank-you so much.
Added by jmvernal on Mar 24, 2017 3:18 PM
Kim Gutshall
Thank you so much Brian for taking the time to get these photos! Glad to see the snow is finally melting your way.
Added by Kim Gutshall on Mar 22, 2017 3:40 PM
William Donahey
Ross Clawson
Thank you Brian.
Added by William Donahey on Mar 22, 2017 11:47 AM
Virginia Sobotkin
RE: Hi
Thank you for your thoughtful message. I can't find much on my ancestors anymore so I am trying to bring families together on Find-a-grave. Some of these are only remotely connected to my family.

Have a great day!
Added by Virginia Sobotkin on Mar 20, 2017 3:42 PM
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