Long before I got DNA done, I followed my maternal line as deep (tree) and wide (bush) as I could and collected all the footprints through history I could find through genealogy, put it through google fusion tables and mapped it out. Made a cheesy video.
Maternal goes back to Plymouth Rock, USA, all the wars and stuff, but a lot were and stayed in parts of England.
Prussia’s so hard. I have family that goes to 19th century Prussia and it stops cold. It picks up again further back in the 1600s but without definite connection, I just leave it.
Lots of geographical, alliegance + name changings in just a few decades (the whole middle part of 19th century Prussia is just a mess). I never looked into why too deeply because it’s just too complicated to follow.
They have records… but you have to know county and city stuff, squint at a lot of Old German printing… and just hope that your line doesn’t end because a church got burnt down (end of records)
If you wanted to get beyond Carl Ludwig Gawer, this would probably get you there eventually. Lutheran church records from Germany / Prussia… but you probably need a little more info on what part of Prussia.