The question mark does not imply
Smilno's unclear past. In fact, the region has remarkable history. Everything that appears here is what I heard, read or
collected. If you have a story to share, do
1269 AD - the first written reference on Smilno. Zborov, now larger, "parish" village has its reference dated back to 1355 AD. Bardejov's reference is dated back to 1247, however, recently found remnants of an ancient church point fairly before 1000 AD.
(source: Malá Encyklopédia Slovenska)
... The oldest houses in Smilno to be seen today were built after the WWI in the frame of a kind of "housing" program. That's why they look pretty alike. Smilno had fierce fights during the WWI as the front line went through the village and residents had to be evacuated pretty far away (my father remembers my grandparents saying some families were evacuated as far as to Tulcik, the village some 25mi south).
WW II went by quietly. Yet, you can find relics of that period there. Although no fights took place in Smilno, Germans built a system of trenches in the neighboring forest (Zvernik, Dzvernik) expecting the Red Army to use this path to liberate the area and proceed for Berlin. Finally, after entering Slovakia in 1944 (after famous fierce fights in Dukla), Soviets took another way and trenches were left dormant. We (me and my parents) used go to pick mushrooms to Zvernik. You can still see trenches there and my father says if you started to dig there, you would find numerous remnants of the WWII- helmets, unused cartridges or even shells.
(source: memories, e-mail correspondence)
Searching records is a very time consuming activity, yet so rewarding! On the turn of the century (19th/20th) people used to marry "within" the village and only a few given names were in use. That's why you'll find plenty of, say, John Marcineks from the same generation in the register and it takes a lot of time to "lustrate" for the right one. It may often turn out to be unaccomplishable task, especially if you have just names and sometimes even DOB is not enough. House # or names of parents help a lot.
(source: e-mail correspondence)