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The Schmucks first migrated to Slovenia (aka Gottscheer, Tschermoschnitz, Krain, Kronlaende, Austria) in the 1300's.

I read that one of the rulers took a bunch of people from Allsace Lorrain and moved them to Slovenia after the Turks were forced out. It was an empty land that was covered with forest, the new settlers cleared the land and developed it. Austria claimed the land until the Austro Hungarian Empire broke up. It then went through several different styles of government until today it is an independent country. It is hard to even find any traces of the old settlers towns and villages.

Ruins of Smuk Castle and Smuk Chapel of Semic, Slovenia
Ruins of Smuk Castle and Smuk Chapel of Semic, Slovenia [DJP Cumulus Semic]

Castle Smuk ruins above Semic, Slovenia are the ruins of the Castle of the Counts of Cilli, aka Selje. They ruled Gottscheer from 1418 - 1456 after inheriting it from The Ortenberg Counts.

Ruins of the manor Smuk, abandoned two centuries ago, rise up from the ground west of the church st. Lovrenc. In the Valvasor times, this was a multi-storey castle building, surrounded by smaller outbuildings. The castle was abandoned at the end of the 19th century, and was already severely damaged in 1900. The pilgrim churchof sv. Lovrenc was once a small chapel of Smuk lords of the castle by the name Lichtenberg, which is confirmed by the family coat-of-arms in the pulpit and a memorial stone in the pavement. The interior of the church was built in baroque style. The high altar dates back to 1911 and was made by the brothers Jereb. [www.slovenia.info]

Most of the info that I found was written in German, The Slovenian writing is different ie: Tschermoschnitz is Cmoschnitz or Moschnitz.

Some of the villages with Schmucks are Indija, Ribnik, Stalldorf, Reig, all near Tschermoschnitz which is in the county of Gottscheer. The settlers had a hard life, they fought for the Germans in all of the wars, In 1942 the Germans lost the Gottscheer County and they relocated most of the Germans back to Germany. At the end of WWII most of rest of them seem to have moved to USA.

The Gottscheer Heritage and Genealogy Association
There is a Gottsheer Bulletin Board. The GHGA was founded in 1992 to preserve the culture, history, and genealogical records of Gottscheers and Gottschee (1330-1941). Lots of interesting stories there. An interesting thing, they numbered the houses in each village, ie: Michael Schmuck b 1730 Ribnik # 2 when you find another from Ribnik # 2 you know that you have the right family. This has been an interesting branch to research!

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