Henry J. Young Award - Glenn P. Zech, June 2013
Glenn P. Zech was born on the family farm in Codorus Township on September 17, 1921. He was the son of the late Harry Zech and Katie May (Bollinger) Zech. He was a 1939 graduate of Codorus Township High School and was a farmer his entire life. He first worked at his father’s hatchery “Zech Brothers” then farmed his own land in North Codorus Township for 44 years.
Glenn married Violet Barrick on May 4, 1946 and they shared over 65 years of marriage. According to Vi he was not eligible for military service due to ringing in his ears. They have a son, Glenn E. Zech and his wife Marlene, three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. He was pre-deceased by their daughter Janet Smith in 1984 and his brothers John and Edward Zech.
Vi told me that Glenn loved research and was good at it, and she wished sometimes he had not been stuck on the farm. He was always interested in where he came from and like all of us, had wished that he had started sooner asking questions about his ancestors. His Grandmother on his mother’s side had lived to be ten days shy of 100 years old and he wished he had asked her more questions.
Glenn began researching in the library of the then Historical Society of York County in the late 1970s and many times their daughter Janet accompanied him. He researched not only his family but also Vi’s. He also joined the South Central Pennsylvania Genealogical Society and became friends with fellow researchers Samuel Saylor and Betty Brown.
Glenn began volunteering in the Historical Society library utilizing his knowledge of the German language. Every Wednesday morning he sat with librarian June Lloyd and consulted over the thousands of surnames and their variations and deciding on the best method of organizing them. Some surnames have dozens of variations and it was Glenn’s expertise in the pronunciation of them that guided their organization over the years. Each surname has a ‘control’ slip that lists the control spelling and its numerous variations, these of which I sometimes refer to as “Glenn slips”. He shared much of that knowledge of pronunciation and spellings with June who now performs the same task.
Glenn passed away on October 3, 2011. Through the efforts of his niece, and the generosity of his widow Vi, 142 files housed in fourteen boxes of his years of family research was donated to the library & Archives of the York County Heritage Trust. Found within these boxes is information on the following families: Barrick, Altland, Albright, Bartram, Appler, Barnhart, Bauman, Baer, Bear, Behler, Betteridge, Bollinger, Bomberger, Bortner, Brown, Bosserman, Carl, Clodfelter, Cleland, Diehl, Ehrhart, Emig, Esterle, Eyster, Fisher, Forry, Glatfelter, Hildebrand, Gladfelter, Haines, Haldiman, Hamm, Hart, Hays, Hershey, Hoffman, Hallenbach, Hollinger, Houser, Huber-Hoover, Kennedy, Klinedinst, Kohler, Leader, Maus, Meiser, Menges, Messersmith, Miller, Minnich, Minehart, Moore, Neidley, Pflieger, Reiff, Renoll, Rensonberger, Rudisill, Runk, Schenck, Schleppi, Schwartz, Schwartz, Schy-Simon, Shaffer, Shaffer, Shive, Shie, Shue, Six-Sixt, Smyser, Spessard, Sprengle, Stauffer, Strayer, Swartzbaugh, Thoman, Thommen, Tome, Uhler, Varnum-Vernon, Wagoneer, Watson, Walter, Weiser, Wertz, Yoder, Zech, and Ziegler; Zech. His niece, Merrill Priess generously donated $120.00 to purchase fourteen acid- free boxes and 142 folders for their proper storage to keep Glenn’s organization intact and preserving it for future generations.