Negro House at Sierra Leone, from an 18th Century engraving
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Thomalind Martin Polite

Some Joy and Sadness...

Not many of us have the opportunity to go back as far as 249 years to learn our ancestry. The long journey started some years ago when Edward Ball started contacting members of my family in Moncks Corner, who referred him to my father, Thomas Martin. He explained that he was looking for descendents of slaves purchased by the Ball Family for their plantations. One of those slaves was a 10-year-old girl who the family named Priscilla.

Research has found that I am one of the descendents of Priscilla. Joe Opala visited Sierra Leone often and met with government officials who have in turn extended an invitation to my family to come to Sierra Leone. The thought of walking the soil of my ancestor is an awesome feeling. I look forward to it with some joy and some sadness. Joy that I will have a better understanding of where my ancestor came from . Sadness to think of a 10-year-old being taken from her family. Joy in being able to show the people of Africa and everywhere that Priscilla was strong and resilient to have survived and produce people who made contributions to society.

I will always be grateful to Ed Ball and Joe Opala for the research and history presented. I would also like to acknowledge the students in Rhode Island for their support. Certainly, I would like to thank my family and friends for their support, encouragement, and prayers.

Thank you!