Harmen Jan te Selle was born December 4, 1844, on the “De Selle” farm, Woold, Winterswijk, Netherlands. He was the youngest of the seven sons of Jan Albert te Selle (1800-1845) and Dela ten Damme (1802-1883). Harmen Jan and his brothers had no sisters.
Harmen Jan married his first wife, Berendina Aleida Reusink, on 27 April 1866 in Holland, Sheboygan County, Wisconsin. She was born 29 Jan 1841, Berendiena was a widow, having been previously married to Manus Schreurs. She and Manus had a young son:
- Manus John Schreurs (1864-1952) [Spouse: Esther E. Kommers (1869- )
Berendina and Harmen Jan had 3 more children: Dela, William, and baby Berendina:
- Dela TeSelle (1868-1900) [Spouse: Dick Abbink (1867-1956)]
- William TeSelle (1871-1936) [Spouse: Clara J Bade (1875-1964)]
- Berendina TeSelle (1876-1876)
Mother Berendina died of childbirth complications on 10 Mar 1876 in Firth, Lancaster County, Nebraska, only a week after baby Berendina was born. Unfortunately, baby Berendina also died a few months later.
Harmen Jan, faced with four small children and no mother in his house, married his second wife, Johanna Arnolda Brethouwer, on 07 May 1876 in Firth, Lancaster, Nebraska. She was born 10 April 1859 in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. She was the daughter of Evert Jan Brethouwer and Helena Vandewege. Harmen Jan and Johanna had 13 more children together, although 2 of those children died very young:
- Berendina Aleida TeSelle (1877-1946) [Spouse: Dionysius G. van der Griend (1869-1948)]
- Evert John TeSelle (1878-1962) [Spouse: Minnie Obbink (1880-1946)]
- Albert Herman TeSelle(1880-1932) [Spouse: Alyda “Lizzie” Obbink (1884-1955)]
- Helena TeSelle (1882-1964) [Spouse: Henry Obbink (1882-1976)]
- Harmina TeSelle (1884-1960) [Spouse: Ernest W. Dietz (1884-1929)]
- Bertha Johanna TeSelle (1886-1951) [Spouse: Jacob S. Kallemeyn (1884-1959)]
- Herman John TeSelle (1888-1963) [Spouse: Jennie Vandewege (1895-1982)]
- Benjamin F. TeSelle (1889-1959) [Spouse: Alma Ida Dietz (1885-1968)]
- Johanna TeSelle (1891-1892)
- John Henry TeSelle (1893-1955) [Spouse: Johanna J. Stiehl (1895-1984)]
- Gerrit H. TeSelle (1895-1953) [Spouse: Pearl Edna Spellman (1906-1984)]
- Johanna Marie “Annie” TeSelle (1896-1972) [Spouse: William E. Fischer (1898-1964)]
- Corneil TeSelle (1898 – 1900)I
The bold surnames above are for spouses of the TeSelle women. These surnames may be associated with some of Harmen Jan te Selle’s descendants, so watch for those names in your genealogy records. When you follow the links above to visit the Profile pages of Harmen Jan’s children, you will see that we do not yet have a lot of information about most of them. We hope that you, the reader, will be able to provide us with some history and memorabilia about one or more of these TeSelle ancestors. In addition to the Profile pages, please follow the links to the Harmen Jan te Selle family Gallery and to other Related Content listed below.
Harmen Jan te Selle died June 22, 1919, in Firth, Lancaster County, Nebraska. He is buried together with his wife Johanna Brethouwer te Selle in the Holland Cemetery, Lancaster County, Nebraska. Johanna died December 21, 1927, in Firth, Lancaster County, Nebraska. His two immigrant brothers, Jan Hendrik and Gerrit Jan te Selle are also buried with their spouses in the Holland Cemetery.
In Harmen Jan te Selle’s Last Will and Testament, HJT carefully directed that specific parcels of land be given to certain of his younger sons, and that cash and other assets be given to the other children to approximately equalize the overall distribution of his estate among all his children, male and female. As you read his Will, think about how much Harmen Jan’s attitude toward inheritance differed from the prevailing European attitude of primogeniture, which Harmen Jan had grown up with — basically, the oldest male child inherited everything, and the rest of the children got nothing.
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