Priscilla's story: detailed slave records link one African-American family to remarkable ancestor

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The Martin family knows something about themselves that few if any families will ever learn about their past. They’re able to trace their ancestry back hundreds of years to a little girl. Her name was Priscilla.

When she was 10 years old, Priscilla was kidnapped in Sierra Leone, west Africa, in 1756, and shipped to Charleston, South Carolina, where she lived her entire life as a slave.

Priscilla’s spirit is alive and well in her modern day relatives, the Martins, who live not far from where Priscilla toiled on a plantation. They are believed to be the only African Americans with such a detailed link to the past. And what’s even more remarkable is that this centuries old family tree, spreading over at least seven generations, is documented on paper. For most African American families there is no record of where their ancestors came from, and almost no chance of finding one.

WATCH: Priscilla’s story, reported by NBC’s Ron Allen, on Rock Center

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