If you are a TeSelle from Montana, or if you are descended from one, there is a strong chance that you can trace your lineage back to Harmen Jan te Selle (1839-1916). [1]  In 1866, when Harmen Jan was 27 years old, he emigrated from the Netherlands to Wisconsin, where he got married and had three children. In 1878 Harmen Jan decided to move his family to Iowa, where he spent the next 11 years and added six more children to his family. Then in 1891, Harmen Jan uprooted his family again, moving his wife and nine children to Manhattan, Gallatin County, Montana. Harmen Jan and most of his family spent the remainder of their lives in the Gallatin River Valley of Montana. Learn more information about the TeSelle family in Montana by reading the profile of Harmen Jan te Selle (1839-1916).

Although Harmen Jan had been a farmer in the Netherlands, we are not sure what his occupation was in Wisconsin, Iowa, and ultimately Montana. However, a significant Dutch farming community did develop in the late 1800’s around the town of Manhattan in the Gallatin Valley of Montana, northwest of Yellowstone Park. The Gallatin Valley includes both the Eastern Gallatin and Western Gallatin rivers, creating flat, fertile ground. The soil itself was formed from volcanic materials, rich in minerals, making it ideal for dry land farming. [2]

If you have photos, stories, or other memorabilia about Harman Jan te Selle, or about other TeSelle family members in Montana, please share your information with us. We would love to add it to our TeSelle Family website. Use our Contact Form to tell us about yourself and the information you are willing to share.


  1. Do not confuse Harmen Jan te Selle (1839-1916) of Montana with another Harmen Jan te Selle (1844-1919), who was a prominent TeSelle pioneer in Lancaster County, Nebraska!
  2. Van Hinte, Jacob, “Netherlanders in America: A Study of Emigration and Settlement…”    p. 695