February 8th is one of those days that stands out in the calendar of my family history. For me it has become Genealogy Day, a day to do something special about my interest in family history. Like Christmas but for me not Baby Jesus. And it helps a bit that Losar, the Tibetan New Year, is right around this time of year.
It’s the anniversary of my grandfather’s death. Harry William Swanstrom (1903-1957). By coincidence it’s also the anniversary of his sister’s death. Ellen Sophie (Swanstrom) Hinkle (1895-1949). She was the first of the kids to pass away.
That’s on the Swanstrom side. Then on the Howery side, today is the anniversary of the earliest surviving mention of the surname Hauri in history. A Conrad Hauri (Chuondradus dictus Hovri) was mentioned on 8 February 1282 as owing 9 shillings annually for his land at Steffisburg (Bern, No. 334), when Werner von Steffisburg leased certain lands to Kloster Interlaken. The taxes Conrad owed for his lands were in line with amounts throughout the region for larger peasant holdings. He was probably our ancestor but there’s no way to prove it.
For my Genealogy Day last year I started the process for getting a grave marker for my grandmother’s two babies that died at birth. Charles Edward Swanstrom (1932) and Harvey William Swanstrom (1934). It took nearly a year start to finish, which is part of the reason I’m just writing about it now.
My grandmother always intended to have a marker made for them and place it in Eden Valley Cemetery. It was one of the last things she mentioned to me just before she died. Actually, the babies are buried in Rock Springs but the funeral home has said there would not be enough left of their bodies to move them to Eden. And, we could mark the graves where they’re buried but then they would end up being disconnected from the family story.
So. We got the gravestone, and we had it placed between my grandparents’ graves. Also this year we did a memorial brick for my grandparents and another for my sister Evonne in the Peace Walk at the Amitabha Stupa in Sedona. But that’s a story for another time.