Gerrit Jan te Selle was born April 21, 1841, on the “De Selle” farm, Woold, Winterswijk, Netherlands. He was the sixth of the seven sons of Jan Albert te Selle (1800-1845) and Dela ten Damme (1802-1883). Gerrit Jan and his brothers had no sisters.
Gerrit Jan emigrated to Nebraska in October 1873, along with his wife, Hannah (Anna) Yonkers (Jonkers) te Selle (1843-1908) and two children. Gerrit Jan wrote Letter 14 (Letters from America) on October 13, 1873, to his mother Dela and his oldest brother, Derk Willem te Selle (1827-1904). In the letter, Gerrit Jan references his ocean voyage from the Netherlands and eventual arrival in Panama, Lancaster County, Nebraska.
Gerrit Jan and Anna Yonkers eventually had seven children who survived to adulthood:
- Jan Albert (1869-1941)
- Willemina Elisabeth (1871-1919)
- Dela (1873-1940)
- Dina (1875-1944)
- William John (1877-1900)
- John (1879-1958)
- Anna (1882-1940)
After his wife Anna died in 1908, Gerrit Jan subsequently married Janna Berendina Onnink (1839-1914).
In March 1914, Gerrit Jan te Selle finally applied for Naturalization as a U.S. Citizen, at the age of 73. (see a copy of his Gerrit Jan te Selle Petition for Naturalization -1914.)