Fix FamilyTreeDNA Project Website- Background
The Fix families in the United States that have been reported have the trait of being of German speaking origin although the earliest families that arrived in America in the mid 1700s have no knowledge of where their ancestors specifically originated. Those who immigrated during the 1800s and 1900s by a wide margin list their country of origin as Germany. The remainder primarily list France, Russia, or Ireland as their country of origin. It should not be surprising that the name Fix (or Vix, Vics, Fichs, etc.) is found in the German speaking church records of Europe starting in the 1500s. The surname is associated with the Rhine River and occurs up and down and on either side of this river. A concentration of the surname of particular importance to American researchers covers the area on either side of a line between Frankfurt, Germany and Strasbourg, France. It should be noted that this is roughly the area of what is referred to as the Palatinate of the 1600s. This included parts of the current German States of Rhineland-Pfalz, Hesse, Baden-Wurttemberg, and Saarland as well as the French Alsace Region and primarily the current political department of Bas-Rhin. This area was the source of much of the German migration to America starting in the late 1600s and extending through the American Revolution. The primary focus being Pennsylvania and therefore the origin of the term “Pennsylvania Dutch”. The causes for the migration of these people to America are a well known part of the history of that part of Europe during the 1600s and the active recruitment of the English starting in the late 1600s which took advantage of those events. The migration to England for the most part ended in America however some of these people were settled in Ireland and this may account for the Fix families from there that later arrived in the United States starting in the mid 1800s. Similarly in the 1760s Catherine the Great of Russia encouraged immigration which resulted in many German speaking families to migrate there from this same region. Some of these later came to America during the later half of the 1800s and early part of the 1900s and may account for the Fix families that settled in the Dakotas. The Fix Surname DNA project strives to trace the origin of the surname as well as its migrations by the use of DNA testing of the Y-Chromosome. Preliminary results indicate that the surname origin is clearly not genetic however the small geographic area of origin, the distinctness of the name and the many different Fix families that have immigrated to America over the last 250 years should allow us to make significant progress in our understanding. We encourage all Fix families to participate in the project.