My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in the Biographical Annals of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania published in 1905 by The Genealogical Publishing Company.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

* * * *

WARREN ZELL. One of the older residents of Churchtown, Monroe township, is Warren Zell, who for many years has been engaged in business at that city, and enjoys the reputation of being one of the most skilled mechanics of the place. He is a son of David, and grandson of Peter.

The father of Peter Zell was born in Ireland, but came to America at an early day, landing in New York. He located in Lancaster county, Pa., and followed farming there until his death. His wife was of Scotch-Irish descent, and the two were married in New York City. Their children were ten in number.

Peter Zell was born in Lancaster county, where he married, and then came to Cumberland county, locating in Monroe township, there leading a quiet life. In 1854, he went to Danville, Ohio, and died there in 1863, his wife passing away shortly thereafter. Five sons and three daughters were born to this marriage.

David Zell, the eldest son of Peter Zell, was born in 1812, in Lancaster county, where he received a common-school education. When twenty-three years of age, he came to Cumberland county with his father, and learned the mason’s trade, which he followed in Monroe township, meeting with success. He married Rebecca Gensler, daughter of John and Barbara (Brandt) Gensler, of Monroe township. The death of David occurred Sept. 15, 1860, but his widow survived until 1894, and she like him died at Churchtown. They are buried in the same cemetery. Their children were: George M., who died in infancy in Monroe township; Warren; Shedrick, living at Beaver Falls, near Pittsburg; John, living in Monroe township; and Barbara E., who died in Monroe township in 1863.

Warren Zell was born in Monroe township, in 1847. His educational advantages were confined to the public schools, and when he was not yet fourteen, he began, Feb. 23, 1861, to learn the trade of a blacksmith, and he has followed that calling for forty-three years, three of which were spent at Chicago, and three at Lancaster City. After working for others, in 1890, Mr. Zell began business for himself, and has been exceptionally successful. He has built 16,000 of the old plank ploughs, and builds all kinds of wagons, and carries on a general blacksmithing and repairing business.

In 1869, Mr. Zell married a Miss Strohman, daughter of William Strohman, of Lancaster county. The children born to them are: John, who married Cora Griger, is living at Churchtown, and is in the employ of his father; George married Minnie Wehler, and is a barber at Churchtown; Annie married Clarence Enck, and lives at Mechanicsburg; Lillie died in infancy; Warren is at home working for his father; Bertha and Gertrude, twins, are at home; Jennie is at home; Ralph died at the age of six months. In politics Mr. Zell is a Democrat, but he has never aspired to public office. The family all attend the United Brethren Church of Churchtown, and all are most excellent people, highly esteemed by a wide circle of friends.

* * * *

This family biography is one of numerous biographies included in the Biographical Annals of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania published in 1905 by The Genealogical Publishing Company. 

View additional Cumberland County, Pennsylvania family biographies here: Cumberland County, Pennsylvania Biographies

View a historic 1911 map of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania

View family biographies for other states and counties

Use the links at the top right of this page to search or browse thousands of other family biographies.