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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2014

Where did the German Sellen family come from? What is the German Sellen family crest and coat of arms? When did the Sellen family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Sellen family history?

The surname Sellen is derived from the Middle High German word "sell," which meant "traveling companion." It was most likely originally nickname, which then became a hereditary surname.

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One can encounter great variation in the spelling of surnames: in early times, spelling in general, and thus the spelling of names was not yet standardized; and later, spellings would change with branching and movement of families. Variations of the name Sellen include Sell, Selle, Sellen, Sellers, Seller, Sellmann, Sellman and many more.

First found in Westphalia, where the name emerged in mediaeval times as one of the notable families of the region, later moving to Lithuania and East Prussia. From the 13th century the surname was identified with the military and civil service, which made this territory a landmark contributor to the development and eventual unification of the German nation.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sellen research. Another 309 words(22 lines of text) covering the years 1599, 1663, 1797 and 1806 are included under the topic Early Sellen History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 115 words(8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Sellen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Many Germans emigrated across the Atlantic to seek better lives in North America. This great migration began in the middle of the 17th century and continued into the 20th century. Resettlement was particularly attractive to those from Westphalia as a means of escape from poverty and religious persecution. For many Westphalian farmers, the chance to own one's own land was also a major incentive. The process of the widespread colonization of the United States began in 1650, when many immigrants from Germany settled in pockets in Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, Illinois, and California. In Canada, German settlements centered around Ontario and the Prairie provinces. Among them:

Sellen Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Dirick Sellen, who sailed to Germantown, Pennsylvania in 1691
  • Dirick Sellen, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1691-1692
  • Hendrick Sellen, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1691-1692

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  1. Kapff, Rudolf. Schwäbische Geschlechtsnamen. Stuttgart: Verlag Silberburg, 1927. Print.
  2. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  3. Schenk, Trudy. Wuerttemberg Emigration Index Volume I-VIII. Salt Lake City: Ancestry Inc., 1986. Print.
  4. Gritzner, M. Handbuch der heraldischen Terminologie in zwölf Zungen. Nürnberg: 1890. Print.
  5. Rupp, Daniel L. A Collection of Upwards of Thirty Thousand Names of German, Swiss, Dutch, French and Other Immigrants to Pennsylvania from 1727 to 1776. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 2000. Print. (ISBN 978-0806303024).
  6. Fogleman, Aaron Spencer. Journeys German Immigration, Settlement and Political Culture in Colonial America 1717-1775. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1986. Print. (ISBN 978-0812215489).
  7. Bahlow, Hans (Edda Gentry trns). Dictionary of German Names . Madison, Wisconsin: Max Kade Institute, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-924119-35-7).
  8. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  9. Tarneller, Josef. Zur Namenkunde Tirolen Familiennamen. Bozen: Buchhandlung, 1923. Print.
  10. Siebmacher, J.J. Siebmacher's Grosses Wappenbuch 35 Volumes. Germany: Bauer & Raspe. Print.
  11. ...

The Sellen Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Sellen Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 5 October 2012 at 12:17.

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