Have your read any of the Letters from America? They are fascinating! Two young brothers, Jan Hendrik te Selle and Harmen Jan te Selle, emigrated from Winterswijk, Netherlands to Gibbsville, Wisconsin, in 1865. The two brothers later moved to Lancaster County, Nebraska, where they homesteaded farm property. In 1873 a third brother, Gerrit Jan te Selle, immigrated from Winterswijk and joined his two brothers in Nebraska.
During the 46 years from 1865 to 1911 the three brothers wrote several letters back to their mother and other brothers in Winterswijk. Thirty-five (35) of those letters were preserved at the family farm, “Fökkink”. In recent years these letters were guarded by Albert Hendrik te Selle, who, before his death in 2009, presented the letters to “The Kotten Archive” for perpetual safekeeping.
These letters have been transcribed in the original Dutch, and have been translated to English, so we can all enjoy reading about the early years of the TeSelle family in America, first in Wisconsin and later in Nebraska. Many American TeSelles are direct descendants of Jan Hendrik or Harmen Jan. These letters offer a window into their early lives in America, and provide a bridge to the life and family left behind in the Netherlands. Read a few of these letters — you will enjoy them!