Maria's Place: The Path To The Past (circa 1875) Exhibition


Celebrating 260 years of 9th generation African Canadian history; hailing from the coast of West Africa to Cumberland County and beyond (1762 – 2022)

Welcome to the Maria Sickles Legacy. The journey from slavery to celebrity is an intriguing story full of mystery, musings and memoirs. 

A question was posed by a 9th generation descendent, Jaxon Cooke in his quest to better understand his connection to Dwayne Johnson, also known as “The Rock”, a famous movie actor. The journey commenced with Dembo Sickles, born in 1762 in Benin, West Africa. Research unearthed confirmed he was the son of an African Chief. Dembo stated he was dragged from a tree stump with a hook and taken into captivity by slave traders. USA Immigration papers in New England confirm he was sold to Captain William Creed, PEI in 1785. Dembo had favor with his master on PEI, served faithfully, bought his freedom and petitioned successfully for land on Lot 59 in 1803. He married Polly, Governor Fanny’s housekeeper and they had 9 children. Sickles died on November 11, 1845.

Edith Cooke – Donald Cooke Sr. and wife Katherine with their children David and Margaret – Donald Cooke Jr. 
1. Dembo’s granddaughter Elizabeth had a child named Isabelle 
2. Isabelle married Alfred Gay and had three daughters and two sons 
3. Edith Gay married Frank Cook and their sons were Donald and Dennis 
4. Lillian Gay married James Bowles 
5. Lillian’s sons were Wade aka Rocky Johnson and four other children 

Rocky Johnson – Mother Lillian and Father James Bowles – his son – Dwayne Johnson aka The Rock