|1808 World Map|
To summarize, a Gazetteer is a great geographical genealogical tool offering family researchers historical places and place names assisting the family researcher in finding that allusive ancestor. There are a variety of Gazetteer categories based on your needs, but I find the geographical ones to be most helpful in my early searches.
Take the year 1808, a pivotal year in shaping maps and boundaries, and who can keep it straight? France turned on Spain, there was the Napoleonic Wars to include Britain and France War, 1803-1814 and the Peninsular War 1808-1814 to name a few. And of course the Russo-Swedish War. This is when Gazetteers can help determine jurisdiction of the land allowing the researcher to pinpoint areas, locations of records, etc.
Apple Manor Press, dedicated to assist genealogists, reprints books of yesteryear and specializes in "classic local history and genealogy books." A reprint of the 1808 edition of The New General Gazetteer can be purchased on line.
How to Use Gazetteers for Genealogy