Friday, November 13, 2015

Friday's Faces from the Past: The Mystery of Salome Clouse Hitchcock

I have one particular ancestor whose story has really thrown me for a loop.

Salome Clouse Hitchcock 1815-1893

Her maiden name was Salome Clouse, and she was born in 1815 in North Carolina. She married her sister's widower, Isaac Hitchcock, and they moved to Hope, Indiana. Her granddaughter is my great-great grandmother, Nellie Hitchcock Mulry. Now, the story goes in the Mulry family history that we have "deep roots in the South, as your great, great, great grandmother was a Cherokee Indian." Later, it mentions that Salome was "half Cherokee Indian." The man who wrote about Salome in the Mulry history was born only 11 years after she died, so I would assume the story may have come directly from Salome. But it remains a mystery, because...

...when I did some research on Salome, I found that her parents were John Clouse and Catherine Lachenauer, who has deep French roots. I wondered if maybe Catherine was John's second wife, and if she was recorded as Salome's mother because she raised her--perhaps Salome's mother died when she was young. But where would this story have come from that Salome was half Cherokee? Did she find out as a questioning young teenager, or was it something that she had known all along? Or was Catherine Lachenauer really her mother? Or maybe she was descended from Cherokee much further back, and the story somehow morphed into her being "half." She did come from North Carolina, where the Cherokee made their home.

I have Mulry relatives that have said their grandmother, Nellie Hitchcock Mulry, told of Indian roots, and one person mentions a photo of Nellie all dressed up in "full Indian garb", but that photo has been lost. This is just something I may have to continue to speculate about, as there may never be any real proof to substantiate the family story. I would be proud to have Cherokee blood flowing through my veins, but I may never know for sure if I do or not.

What about you? There are so many stories about Native American roots floating about nowadays, but often little evidence. I'm excited to read more by my co-writer at The In-Depth Genealogist, who writes about Native American genealogy. I have a lot to learn, and a lot of curiosity to lead me there!

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