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Back to {{Germany-sidebar}}{{breadcrumb| link1=[[GermanyGenealogy|Germany]]| link2=| link3=|link4=| link5=[[Germany PageGazetteers|Gazetteers]]}} A gazetteer is a dictionary of placenamesplace names. Gazetteers may describe towns and villages, parishes and counties, states and provinces, rivers and mountains, and other geographical features. They usually include only the names of places that existed at the time the gazetteer was published, but may reference nam name changes. The placenames are usually listed in alphabetical order, similar to a dictionary. Common German words for gazetteers include "''Ortsverzeichnis''" (listing of places) and "''Topographie''" (usually more descriptive; may also contain historical information).
Gazetteers may also provide additional information about towns, such as:
*The population size.
*The different religious denominationsBoundaries of civil jurisdiction. *The schoolsLongitude and latitude. *Distances and direction from other from cities. *Schools, colleges, and universities. *Denominations and number of churches.
*Major manufacturing works, canals, docks, and railroad stations.
=== Finding Place-Names in the FamilySearch Catalog ===
German placenames place names used in the "Place Search" field of the FamilySearch Catalog are based on the German Empire as it existed in 1871. Use either "place search" or "keyword search" to search for pertinent catalog entries. The state or province is listed as part of the place name heading. If a village did not have its own parish, it may only be listed in the notes of a catalog entry for the civil or parish jurisdiction it belonged. Such entries can be found using "keyword search" rather than "place search".
=== Meyers Gazetteer Meyer's gazetteer === ==== Where to find Meyer's gazetteer ====
The Family History Library uses one gazetteer as the standard guide for listing German places in the catalog. Regardless of the various jurisdictions a place may have been under at different times, all German places are listed by the jurisdictions used in the following reference:
Uetrecht, E. [https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/show?uri=http%3A%2F%2Fcatalog-search-api%3A8080%2Fwww-catalogapi-webservice%2Fitem%2F325694 <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><span style="font-style: italic;">Meyer</span></span><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><span style="font-style: italic;">s Orts- und Verkehrs-Lexikon des Deutschen Reichs</span></span>]''(Meyers Place- and Traffic directory of the German Empire).'' Fifth Edition. Leipzig, Germany: Bibliographisches Institute, 1912-3. (FHL book Ref 943 E5mo; films 496,640-1; fiche 6,000,001-29.)
Meyers Gazetteer Meyer's gazetteer (often referred to as Meyers Orts) lists the names of places as they existed in Germany from 1871 to 1912. It gives the name of the state or province where each town was located at that time. The gazetteer is written in Gothic print, which can be hard to read.
Meyers Gazetteer [https://www.meyersgaz.org/ Meyer's gazetteer] is available in digital form in the following places:<br>
* This site supersedes all the following sites, as it is online, fully searchable, is connected to maps of the German Empire and has other features: [http://www.meyersgaz.org/ Meyersgaz.org] *FamilySearch: A digital copy of Meyers Gazetteer is online in two volumes and is found at: online part 1 A-K, {{FSbook|74680}}[https://www.familysearch.org/library/books/records/item/583031-mmeyers-orts-und-verkehrs-lexikon-des-deutschen-reichs-auf-grund-amtlicher-unterlagen-von-reichs-landes-und-gemeindebehorden-v-01?offset=1 FamilySearch Digital Library]; part 2 L-Z , {{FSbook|74645}}[https://www.familysearch.org/library/books/records/item/576134-mmeyers-orts-und-verkehrs-lexikon-des-deutschen-reichs-auf-grund-amtlicher-unterlagen-von-reichs-landes-und-gemeindebehorden-v-02?offset=1 FamilySearch Digital Library]. See "[[Step-by-step guide: Using Meyers Gazetteer Online]]" for detailed user instructions. An abbreviated guide to locating place names and jurisdictions in Meyers Gazetteer is found [https://www.familysearch.org/#form=catalog here].
*Ancestry.com: [http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=1074 Meyers Gazetteer of the German Empire]. This version is also searchable. (For best results, use the Keyword rather than the Location search box.)
*The HathiTrust: [http://hdl.handle.net/2027/uc1.31158001995785 Volume 1: A-K ]and [http://hdl.handle.net/2027/uc1.31158001995652 Volume 2: L-Z] . This digital version provides bigger, clearer images, and most city maps are in color. It is possible to download each volume as a PDF. &nbsp;
The first volume of this gazetteer contains an explanation of the many abbreviations the gazetteer uses. For example, Meyers Meyer's indicates where to find the civil registration office [Standesamt]. If a comma or semicolon follows the abbreviation StdA (Standesamt), the town had its own civil registration office. If it does not have a comma or semicolon, the town name that follows the abbreviation and has a comma or semicolon after it is the town where the civil registration office is found.
The gazetteer also indicates if the town had its own parish by using the abbreviation ev. Pfk. for a Lutheran parish [evangelische Pfarrkirche]; reform. Pfk. for a Reformed parish [reformierte Pfarrkirche]; or kath. Pfk. for a Roman Catholic parish [katholische Pfarrkirche]. A Jewish synagogue [Synagoge] is indicated by the abbreviation Syn. If no parish is indicated, you must check a regional gazetteer or parish register inventory to find the parish. Frequently Meyers only gives a “see” reference, indicated by the abbreviation s (lowercase S) which stands for the command "siehe" or "see". For example, if you look for the village of Filge, county Lübbecke, the gazetteer refers you to the larger village of Levern, Westfalen for more information.
=== Other general gazetteers ===
Other general gazetteers include:
*The Genealogisches Ortsverzeichnis (GOV) on the website of the [http://www.compgen.de/ German Society for Computer Genealogy (CompGen)].&nbsp;<br>• *[http://verwaltungsgeschichte.de/ The Administrative History of Germany (Verwaltungsgeschichte Deutschlands)] tracks jurisdictions historically.* For the areas east of the Oder-Neisse rivers see [http://www.kartenmeister.com/ Kartenmeister]<br>• For phonetic searches in the area covered by today’s Germany, use the “[http://isodp.hof-university.de/fuzzyg/query/ fuzzy gazetteer]” . Uncheck the "all countries" box to linit the search to a specific country.<br>• *The [http://www.jewishgen.org/communities/LocTown.asp JewishGen gazetteer ]has several search options, including “contains”. Be sure to change the country and choose a search option.<br>•The *The [http://pbc.gda.pl/dlibra/docmetadata?id=7346&from=pubstats Deutsch-Fremdsprachiges Ortsnamenverzeichnis] - place name changes for formerly German localities as of June 1919.<br>• *For latinized place names use the Orbis Latinus. Several volumes/editions are available on multiple websites. Examples include a copy of [http://www.columbia.edu/acis/ets/Graesse/contents.html volume one], published 1909 (with an English interface) and the [http://www.bayerische-landesbibliothek-online.de/orbis-latinus four-volume combined set] published in 1972 (in German).<br> *[https://books.google.com/books?id=CCMDAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA596&lpg=PA596&dq=Deckingen+germany&source=bl&ots=Ste_zo-PFU&sig=Vn4KDk7B2qlyME5n6ygAWKwCO4o&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj6i9qRqI_aAhVO6VMKHVNsAMMQ6AEIMjAC#v=onepage&q&f=false A New and Comprehensive Gazetteer, Volume 2 By George Newenham Wright] Free downloadable German Gazetteer in English published in 1835.
=== Regional Gazetteers ===
Various books and databases can be used to determine additional information about a locality. The following is See a partial list of available [https://familysearch.org/wiki/en/Online_German_Gazetteers online regional gazetteers].
===== Prussia<br> =====
The ''Gemeindelexikon'', based on a 1905 census, is the standard gazetteer used for Prussia: &nbsp; &nbsp;  Book:&nbsp;Königlich Preußisches Statistisches Landesamt. [https://familysearch.org/search/catalog/14875?availability=Family%20History%20Library ''Gemeindelexikon für das Königreich Preußen'']. Berlin&nbsp;: Verlag des Königlichen Statistischen Landesamts, 1907-1909. (FHL&nbsp;book 943 E5kp.) - multiple volumes.  Online: This gazetteer is also available online at Ancestry.com in the database [http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=34415 Gemeindelexikon für das Königreich Preußen]. Enter place names into the "keyword" field for best results, and ignore diacritical marks (Umlaute) or browse images by volume.&nbsp;Various volumes are also available on GoogleBooks and the DigiBib (Digital Library) in on [[www.http://compgen.de|/ Compgen.de]].&nbsp;To see translations of the Hessen-Nassau headings for this gazetteer [https://familysearch.org/wiki/en/images/a/a2/Preussen_Hessen2_gaz_headings.pdf click here.] For headings for the other Prussian regions [https://familysearch.org/wiki/en/Prussia-Posen_Gazetteers click here]
<br>
Höpker, H. ''Deutsches Ortsverzeichnis: unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der zuständigen Standesämter (German gazetteer of civil registration offices).'' Frankfurt/Main: Verlagfür Standesamtswesen, 1978 reprint of a 1930 edition. (FHL book 943 E5h.) In part one (pp. 1-310), any locality with an asterisk (*) has a civil registration office. The civil registration office for towns without the asterisk is shown immediately following the double ring (4). In part two (pp. 313-66) the civil registration offices for areas Germany lost after World War I are shown.
'''=== RESEARCH GUIDES''' This older research guide includes a list of published German gazetteers with FamilySearch microfilm numbers.&nbsp; ===
*[https://familysearch.org/wiki/en/Online_German_Gazetteers Online German Gazetteers] includes links to regional gazetteers and parish register inventories by historic state *This older research guide includes a list of published German gazetteers with FamilySearch microfilm numbers: [http://lib.byu.edu/sites/familyhistory/research_outlines/ BYU Research Guide for Germany Civil &amp; Parish Jurisdictions &amp; Maps]
=== Modern Place-Names ===
For some research purposes, such as correspondence, you need to know the modern jurisdictions for the place where your ancestor lived. This may also help you find the ancestral town on modern maps. This information can often be found online by using a German-language specific search engine, such as Google.de.&nbsp;  The following modern post- WWII gazetteer is available through family history centers and may also be found at some large public libraries:
Müller, Friedrich. ''Müllers Großes Deutsches Ortsbuch (Müllers German gazetteer).'' 12th Edition. Wuppertal-Barmen: Post und Ortsbuchverlag Postmeister A.D. Friedrich Muller, 1958. (FHL book 943 E5m 1958; film 1,045,448; fiche 6,000,343-54.) This work alphabetically lists modern German place-names as they existed before Germany was reunited in 1990. The last part of each entry is the abbreviation for the German state.
This work alphabetically lists place names in the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) as they existed before it was reunited with the German Democatoc Republic in 1990. The last part of each entry is the abbreviation for the German state.&nbsp;  In cases where more than one town has the same name, each is listed separately. The district [Kreis] name usually follows the town name and is printed in bold type to distinguish the towns with the same name. Müller's gazetteer is printed with modern type, making it easy to use. However, it does not reflect the many boundary changes resulting from the large-scale community-consolidations of the 1970s and later.&nbsp;
'''Postal Code Book.''' On 1 July 1993 Germany significantly revised its postal codes.The German postal code book lists&nbsp;all towns with post offices&nbsp;in alphabetical order . Part two of the book lists a postal code for each street address in cities with more than one post office. You can use the book's maps to find post office towns and the approximate location of city streets.&nbsp;Das Postleitzahlenbuch (The postal code book). Bonn, Germany: Postdienst, 1993. (FHL book 943 E8p1993.) This book is available for purchase in the United States from Genealogy Unlimited. This information is also available online at: [http://www.deutschepost.de www.deutschepost.de]. On the home page, click on "PLZ suchen".
GERMANY, [STATE] - GAZETTEERS
[http://www.verwaltungsgeschichte.de Michael Rademacher's site] is based primarily on gazetteers from the period 1880-1925, but also includes later information, especially regarding territory absorbed by the Nazis before the beginning of WW II.&nbsp; It is organized&nbsp; [http://www.verwaltungsgeschichte.de/ortsbuch39.html alphabetically] and [http://www.verwaltungsgeschichte.de hierarchically]. The structure of the [http://www.verwaltungsgeschichte.de/kirchen.html#evangelischekirchen Evangelical-Lutheran] and&nbsp; [http://www.verwaltungsgeschichte.de/kirchen.html#katholischekirche Roman Catholic] churches is also provided.<br>
*[http://gov.genealogy.net gov.genealogy.net] features tree diagrams showing the jurisdictional structure of a place as it changed over time.
| Pr., Hann.
| GERMANY, PREUßEN, HANNOVER, MOLZEN
| HanoverHannover
|-
| Pr., Hessen-N.
This table shows the state or province abbreviations used in [[ABBREVIATION TABLE FOR MEYERS|Meyers Orts- und Verkehrs-Lexikon des Deutschen Reichs,]] a sample entry from the Place Search of the FamilySearch Catalog, and the English spelling of the state or province.
=== Lutheran and Catholic Parishes of Schleswig-Holstein ===To locate Lutheran and Catholic parishes as well as civil registration offices in Schleswig-Holstein, please use the Gemeindelexikon Schleswig-Holstein. FHL call number 943 E5kp or FHL film number 806635 Item 3.<br>Here is a diagram showing the column headings in German and their English translations:  [[Image:Gaz Headings2.jpg|border|600px]]&nbsp;[[Image:Gaz headings.jpg|border|600px]]  {{Germany|Germany}} {{H-langs|en=Germany Gazetteers|[[pt=:Alemanha - Dicionários Geográficos }} ]][[fr:Allemagne : Les Répertoires Géographiques]] 
[[Category:Germany]] [[Category:Gazetteers]]
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