Place: New York, USA

Voyage to America – 1873

Gerrit Jan te Selle (1841-1921), a brother of Jan Hendrik and Harmen Jan te Selle who emigrated in 1865, emigrated from Winterswijk in 1873 with his wife and family to join his brothers in America.

S. S. Helvetia Passenger List

Page 1 of SS Helvetia Manifest

Name of Ship: S. S. Helvetia Port of Embarkation: Liverpool, England Date of Embarkation: October 12, 1865 (Source: Harmen Jan te Selle, Letters from America, Letter 2, November 26, 1865) Port of Arrival: New York City, New York, USA Date of Arrival: October 30, 1865 Page 1 of the ship’s manifest for the voyage embarking… Read more »

S.S. Helvetia Description

SS Helvetia Photo

Years in Service: 1864-1894 Funnels: 1 Masts: 3 Builder: Palmer’s Shipbuilding and Iron Company Ltd., Newcastle, England Tonnage: 3,325 tons gross Note: In 1877 the ship was lengthened to 419 feet (as seen in the picture) with new tonnage of 4,588 tons gross Dimensions: 371 feet x 41 feet (lengthened to 419 feet in 1877)… Read more »

Castle Garden Immigration Center

After 17 days at sea, brothers Harmen Jan and Jan Hendrik te Selle finally arrived at Castle Garden Immigration Center in New York City. They were among the 8 million immigrants arriving at Castle Garden from 1855 to 1890, when two of every three U.S. immigrants passed through that portal.

Letter 2

Letters From America

This is the first letter from Harmen Jan and Jan Hendrik te Selle since their arrival in the United States in October 1865. They are staying with their Uncle Gerrit Bloemers and Aunt Janna te Selle Bloemers in Wisconsin. This letter contains a fascinating detailed account of the journey from Hull (England) to Liverpool via train, and then on to New York via ship. After 17 days at sea, they finally arrived in New York harbor on October 29. They spent the night aboard ship, and were taken to Castle Garden Immigration Center the next day. From New York they headed toward Gibbsville, Wisconsin, by way of Buffalo and Detroit. This letter is a wonderful record of a difficult, but ultimately rewarding, journey.