Schmalleningken/Smalininkai was the German village listed in connection with the “mysterious” Auguste Spurgat. No additional information as to birth, marriage, death, or parents’ names was listed in the International Genealogical Index in January 2008 but nothing was listed in April 2013. Perhaps she is the same person listed in the marriage record of May 8, 1911 in Szugen/Zukai.
We picked up our local guide and her sister.
Across the street from our “Countryside Tourism” overnight residence, we noted all that was left of the old Lutheran Church in this village–the bell and stone plaque.
The inscription on the stone shows the connection between the descendants in Germany and the people of this small village. The top inscription on the stone next to the bell reads in German: To commemorate our home and the dead here in Deutschland and in distant Schmalleningken. On the bottom in Lithuanian it reads: Our Motherland and the dead come hither, and are found in distant memory. The people of Smalininkai. 1997.
We drove a few blocks to a newer Lutheran Church, a fairly new structure inside and out. We entered reverently and sat down. Our guide had done some online Spurgat research for me, and gave me a type written sheet with Spurgat names that I had not retrieved from any other online database I had searched. I thought this was pretty exciting as no one else that I know of does Spurgat research but me. These references to Spurgats and Schmalleningken/Smalininkai dated from 1956 to 1970, included four new Spurgat names for me to research possible connections to our families.
After a drive around the village to note any possible 19th century buildings, it was time to say goodbye and head for Marijampole.
Schmalleningken/Smalininkai marks the eastern end of Lithuanian Minor. We drove through Jubarkas and Saikai (which has an active Lutheran Church), both former German settlements. We crossed the Nemanus (Memel) River and soon the signs to the Pilwiskis/Pilwiskiai and Wilkowischken/Vilkaviskis appeared. We were “home.”