Generation I of the Te Selle Family genealogy begins with Hermen Wijggers (aka Hermen te Selle) who lived from 1685-1736. Under the naming convention of the time, Hermen was originally given the surname “Wijggers” because of his birthplace on the farm called “Wijggershuise”. However, in 1712 when he married and moved to the farm called “de Selle”, his surname commonly became known as “te Selle”.
The Netherlands was annexed by Napoleon (1810-1813) and formed a part of the French empire. Legislation of that period known as the Napoleonic Code required that each family choose an official family surname, and that henceforth all children would keep their father’s surname. Thus, the name “te Selle” became an official family surname name as part of the government practice of civil registration. During that time sons began taking and keeping the surname of their father, rather than changing their surname to correspond to the place where they lived. As a result, nowhere in either The Netherlands or in the United States have we thus far come across people carrying the “te Selle” family name that cannot be traced back through the Te Selle family tree to Hermen Wijggers te Selle. (Note: When the Napoleonic Code was first imposed in The Netherlands, many Dutch families apparently did not think that the practice would last of keeping a family surname for many generations. Therefore, some of these families chose silly surnames as a joke. Unfortunately, descendants of those families are still suffering from that ill-advised name choice many generations later!)
Geert te Selle in Winterswijk, Netherlands, has been the primary person gathering and organizing the information for the Te Selle Family Genealogy. Dirk Willem te Selle in Enschede, Netherlands, Ellen TeSelle Boal in Colorado, and Norma TeSelle Prophet (1923-2009) in Firth, Nebraska, have also been significant contributors to the genealogy detail. Many other family members and others have contributed information, photos, and memorabilia. If any reader of this website has information that would be a meaningful addition to the TeSelle genealogy, please use our Contact Form to tell us about your information. We welcome your input.
The published genealogy on this website currently includes a complete listing of Generation I through Generation VI. Generations beyond Generation VI have only been partially posted to this public website in order to respect the privacy rights of the individuals involved. Anyone born after 1920 who is still living is listed as “Private” or “afgeschermd” (Dutch term for “protected”).
When you search the Te Selle Genealogy, remember that the index of names uses the Dutch alphabetizing convention for persons born in the Netherlands. Therefore, Dutch-born individuals with the surname “te Selle” will be listed under the letter “S” as “Selle, te”, not under “T”. American-born individuals with the surname “Te Selle” or “TeSelle” will be listed under the letter “T”.
Even though we do not publish data about living individuals, we do maintain complete genealogy data for all generations, and are anxious to gather as much information as possible about all of the Te Selle family, past and present. If you have information about births, deaths, marriages, children, or other interesting information about any members of the Te Selle family, or if you wish to pursue additional genealogical research regarding more recent generations, please contact us using our Contact Form. We appreciate your input and support.