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Subject: Re: Ancestors
Author: Rusty Shackleford   (Authenticated as arrowhead909)
Date: October 15, 2017 at 9:12:08 AM
Reply to: Ancestors by Philipp surname German family since 1700's
It's a relatively common German surname, so they could have come from Alsace, Switzerland, Silesia, Austria, Bohemia, elsewhere in present-day Germany or any other place I'm not aware of where German was spoken at the time, if they even moved at all. (Vital records only go back so far.)

It would've been useful to have included the year in which your ancestor was born and why you think they were from somewhere else. My best advice for when you hit a roadblock is this: History is incredibly important. Your ancestors didn't live in a vacuum; they were affected by wars, famines, religious persecution, natural disasters and the promise of a better life somewhere else. Study the area they lived in and note historical events which might have acted as push-pull factors. Take a look at other people from the area and try to figure out where they were from - look for clues of mass migration. I'm not at all familiar with Saxony, but, for example, some Swiss Calvinists migrated to Alsace and the Palatinate in the 16th and 17th centuries as their religion spread there. Look for other Philipps in the area and research them to see if they're all related to each other. Check out maiden names as well and see where they came from (women had an -in or -an ending on their surnames - a daughter of Johannes Baum could be Maria Anna Bauman.) Basically, don't limit yourself to details like who your ancestors were and how they connected to each other. Instead, find patterns—the larger family, mass migrations, etc.

You can maybe use surname distribution maps for clues. Keep in mind that the density in major cities like Vienna is probably due to migration in modern times. These are often, but not always, useful. For example, my English relatives emptied out of the town they'd lived in since at least the 17th century in the early 20th century because jobs were scarce. You'd think they were from Newcastle if you went by a modern map, but maps based on old censuses tell a different story.
Austria: http://namenskarten.lima-city.at/en/?nachname=Philipp&k=a
Czech Republic: http://www.kdejsme.cz/prijmeni/Philipp/hustota/
France: https://www.filae.com/v4/genealogie/lastnames.mvc/LastnameDetails?name=Philipp (Lists of how many people are in each area, rather than a map. You may only want to pay attention to German-speaking places, since it's unlikely that French-speaking people would move to Saxony.)
Germany: http://www.gen-evolu.de/index.php?id=75
Poland: http://www.moikrewni.pl/mapa/kompletny/philipp.html
Switzerland and Poland: http://www.dynastree.co.uk/iphone.jsp#nameMaps

Good luck! You can message me if you need help or want me to do a vital record lookup.

Rusty Shackleford is my real identity. My name is not Katie.

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