The surname Sellai 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.
Early Origins of the Sellai family
The surname Sellai was 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.
Early History of the Sellai family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sellai research.Another 309 words (22 lines of text) covering the years 1599, 1663, 1797 and 1806 are included under the topic Early Sellai History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Sellai Spelling Variations
Many cultural groups lived in the German states in medieval times. Each had its own dialect and traditions, and unique variations of popular names. Low German, which is similar to contemporary Dutch, was spoken in Westphalia
. German names are characterized by additions such as regional suffixes and phrases that tell something about the origin or background of its original bearer. Further contributing to the variation in German names was the fact that there were no spelling rules in medieval times: scribes recorded names according to their sound. The recorded spelling variations
of Sellai include Sell, Selle, Sellen, Sellers, Seller, Sellmann, Sellman and many more.
Early Notables of the Sellai family (pre 1700)
Notables of the period with the name Sellai were Thomas Selle (1599-1663), a German baroque composer; and Baron
Adolph von Sell (b.1797), who was Lord Chamberlain at the court of Mecklenburg, as well as... Another 33 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Sellai Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Sellai family to the New World and Oceana
After 1650, thousands of German settlers came to North America to escape the religious persecution and poverty that wracked Europe and to make the most of the opportunity to own their own land in a new country. They settled across the United States in Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, Illinois, and California, and in Canada in Ontario and on the fertile plains of the prairie provinces. Among them: Edward and Johann Sell, who sailed to Bermuda in 1635. Among the many other family members to follow these first settlers were: Dirick Sellen, who sailed to Germantown, Pa. in 1691.