The goal of the article is to present the problems encountered by a researcher of toponyms analyzing types of place names, their distribution, and attempting to draw general conclusions regarding the history of settlement. The difficulties are connected primarily with the nomenclature of ethnically mixed regions. As an example the author cites place names from the area of former Lower Lusatia. He distinguishes as name types those coming from personal names and from other bases, and attempts to separate subtypes within them, depending on the construction of the base. The presentation of various subtypes on maps makes possible the recognition of connections between them and the reconstruction of settlement processes. Besides the maps the article contains a diagram illustrating the morphological system of place names.