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.
If you have a minute, feel free to visit my mother's memorial Connie Ensley #43042891 and if so inclined leave a flower if you wish.
Ancestry® Copyright Policy:
Content contributed to public area of the Ancestry® sites by users remains the property of the submitter or of the original creator, and we are a licensed distributor of such content. When a copyright violation occurs, the submitter, and not Ancestry, has violated copyright.
If you think this doesn't matter, the U.S. Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 501 et seq. gives me the ability to legally pursue anyone that thinks that they are going to use MY copyrighted photos without permission or at least citing me as the source. Be considerate of others' work.
I've taken over the responsibility of maintaining tens of thousands of memorials from other members that either died, quit or were booted from this site. Many I haven't even looked at and had time to research. Please be patient as I try to add more information to them. Edits are always welcome.
Please use the EDIT tab to request changes. NO CORRECTIONS WILL BE MADE FROM THE MESSAGE SECTION ON THIS PAGE. This is what the feature was developed for. For those that have had that "team approach" and have helped fix and/or add information to these "orphaned" memorials, thank you!!
Please do not message me after you have found duplicate memorials. FAG has made it very simple to report them on your own. If you already have all of the information, contacting me or the other person (if applicable) is just duplicating our efforts. The same goes for establishing links, etc.- use the edit tab. Thank you...
If you want me to fulfill YOUR requests, have the courtesy of reviewing the edits that come through for YOUR memorials. If you want the responsibility of managing these memorials, then be prompt at reviewing edits. I know this site is not everyone's priority, and it's not mine, either- but if I can manage over 100K memorials and still find the time to review edits within a day or two, please return the favor. I don't just upload a requested photo- I spend hours adding extra information to help that person and it seems like a waste if these people can't see this work because people aren't processing these edits for weeks, or letting them go and "Auto" approve.
DO NOT ask me to change a person's birth date based solely on a death certificate. Death certificates in PA (especially older ones) are notoriously wrong when it comes to birth dates. I will gladly make the change IF you have supporting documentation to go along with the death certificate, but not just based on it alone.
"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. If you find duplicate memorials- USE THE DUPLICATE BUTTON on the edit page. Don't send me a message telling me all about it when after spending that time you could've already just used that feature, which is WHY it was developed.
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) NAMES / MILITARY DESIGNATIONS: While some people adamantly refuse to add it, I WILL honor their service and rank. A veteran who has served honorably in a time of war may bear the title of the highest grade held during that war. This right is conferred by Congress in law by 10 US Code 772 Section (e).
5) 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.
6) 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."
7) 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.
8) 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.
Also, if you leave me a message but there is no way to reply back, don't expect an answer. If you elect not to have a way to leave a message/reply or an e-mail, it's not my responsibility to track you down just to reply to your message, etc.
9) The mountains of Southwestern Pennsylvania can be brutal during the winter. But with snow brush 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.
10) 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!
Search memorial contributions by Staff Sergeant (Ret) Brian J. Ensley