Using a gazetteer for the first time can be overwhelming with all of the information given. In order to understand your Gazetteer better it is important to find and study the index. The index can be located either in the front or back of the gazetteer. In order to be thorough, most gazetteers use abbreviations. For example, "Standesamt" will be commonly abbreviated to "StdA." The Index might list the different abbreviations, but if not, look in Shirley J. Riemer and Dr. Roger Minerts "The German Research Companion."
Here is a list of Prussia Province Gazetteers, before and after WW I:
|Brandenburg||Film #806635 item 1||Film #806636 item 2|
|Hannover||Film #806634 item 2||Film #806637 item 4|
|Hessen-Nassau||Film #1187921 item 4||Film #806637 item 6|
|Hohenzollern||Film #1187921 item 5||Film #475862 item 1|
|Niederschlesien||Film #806636 item 5|
|Oberschlesien||Film #806637 item 1|
|Ostpreußen (East Prussia)||Film #1186701 item 3; 1187911 item 2|
|Pommern (Pommerania)||Film #806634 item 4||Film #806636 item 3|
|Posen||Film #806635 item 3|
|Rheinprovinz||Film #1186702 item 2|
|Sachson (Saxony)||Film #806634 item 2||Film #806637 item 2|
|Schlesien (Silesia)||Film #806633 item 4|
|Schleswig-Holestein||Film #806635 item 3||Film #806637 item 3|
|Westfalen (Westfalia)||Film #491042 item 11||Film #806637 item 12|
|Waldeck and Pyrmont||Film #491042 item 11|
|Westpreußen (West Prussia)||Film #1186701 item 4; #1187921 item 3|
North and South American German Records
North America-every state in the United States and Canada has had some German immigration. The first Germans in North America were some of the settlers of Jamestown, and from there an estimated 7.2 million Germans have settled in North America. The United States Census', which began in 1790 and were available every ten years until 1940, is the first place to look for your ancestors hometown. Gazetteers can be used to verify the place, but also to find names of obsolete towns and villages.
Almost all South American countries will have German immigration. German-speaking people came for many different reasons, but don't be surprised to find almost every religion, including Mennonite, Catholic, Agnostic and Protestant. Immigration to South America began in the 1500's, but really picked up in the 19th century and after World War II, when almost every other country had closed borders to ethnic Germans.