Most of the 18th century German emigrants were from the Palatinate (Kurpfalz, later Bayern-Pfalz), counties in the northern Kraichgau, Hessen, Baden-Durlach, County of Wertheim (later Baden, 1752/1754), and Württemberg (counties of Maulbronn, Sachsenheim, Tübingen, Urach, Rosenfeld, Marbach, and Neuenbürg; Free City Ulm [1751/52]).
During the colonial period, Germany looked much different than it does today. It was a patchwork of hundreds of duchies, counties, margraveshafts, and other jurisdictions, each ruled over by different sovereigns. Sometimes a few villages were under the control of a count and in other cases hundreds of towns might be under the control of a neighboring duke. After Napoleon conquered Germany these areas were consolidated into a much smaller number of states or provinces. These new jurisdictions lasted through most of the 19th and 20th centuries. Rather than using the jurisdictions of the colonial period or the modern jurisdictions, it was decided that references in these lists would go by the jurisdictions in the post-Napoleonic era. This was due mostly to the fact that those are the jurisdictions used in most of the historical gazetteers used in German genealogy and also is the standard used by the Family History Library catalog, widely used as a standard in the field of genealogy.