I’m C. Rae White and this blog is an eclectic mix of my various interests and creativity. I’ve been a fashion fanatic since childhood and started runway modeling, coordinating clothing and fashion shows as a teenager. I’ve worked with a modeling agency, been a fashion stylist and a personal shopper. I currently enjoy creating fashion sets and product collections on Polyvore, under the moniker styln. Check out my fashion posts here. I’m a creative person and I love jewelry making, creating graphic art on my computer and with the ArtPad painter. I’ve also made patterns and color palettes on colourlovers.com. Check out my art related posts here.
Blogger of Sorts
I began blogging in 2005 on MSN Spaces as an outlet for creative and thoughtful self-expression. Back then, my blog content featured various innovations, trends, interesting people, places, things and other wacky stuff. I’ve been blogging on WordPress.com since October of 2010 and my content largely remains the same.
I’m a proud 6th generation Detroiter. My maternal Binga ancestors settled in Detroit in about 1844. I’m a Detroit Snob, I Love My City. I’m cognizant of the longstanding issues plaguing my beloved hometown and I’m hurt and saddened by the ruin porn (photography) and pervasive negativity across the Internet regarding Detroit. My purpose is to highlight the positive, restorative, innovative and fun things happening around town. Check out my Detroit category here.
I am African, Indigenous to America, and Western European.
My African Ancestors primarily come from Ivory Coast/Ghana and Cameroon/Congo, with traces of Nigeria, Senegal and Benin/Togo. My maternal ancestors were most likely initially enslaved in Virginia for generations and then offspring were sold or taken into Kentucky sometime in the mid to late 1780’s. I am aware of two plantation owners who held my ancestors, but only one has been confirmed. My maternal 3rd great grandfather, William W. Binga, was born a slave in Greenupsburg, Greenup County, Kentucky in about 1817. My paternal great grandfather, George H. White, was also born in Greenupsburg, Greenup County, Kentucky in 1855 and was most likely born a mulatto slave. George shows up in the 1870 Census as a 15 year old house servant living with a white couple.
The first of my indigenous paternal ancestors were Egypto-Nubian Africans who settled in southern Mexico at La Venta between 1400 & 1200 BCE. My direct ancestors lived at Lake Chapala, in the land of the Olmecs or Xi People. Much later, the Mayan’s encroached upon their land and they were pressed into the Mayan army. When the Aztecs came to conquer the Mayans my ancestors chose to fight with them, subsequently rising through the Aztec ranks. Later, my ancestors came out of Mexico on a northeastern migration in 992 AD as Lenne Lenape (Original Man). They settled into their first permanent village at Crystal River Florida and were known as the Mound Builders. Later, they were also part of the Fort Ancient culture, subsequently becoming Shawnee (Kispoko Sept), from which all Shawnee chiefs emerged. My father’s family (both sides) ended up living in Portsmouth, Scioto OH and Troy, Miami OH.
My European roots are primarily in Europe West, Ireland and Scandinavia, with traces in Great Britain and the Iberian Peninsula. I don’t know much about my Western European roots, but I suspect some of it comes from chattel slavery rape and the mixing of the Europeans with Shawnee natives, but it could predate the existence of Caucasian Europeans in those areas.
My 3rd great grandfather, William W. Binga married an orphaned white girl named Adelphia Seymour. She later claimed to have found her family, declaring that she was a member of the New York State Powers family. I suspect that William married a white woman (in 1844) to secure the freedom of his children, due to his fugitive slave status (1850 until 1865) living and conducting business openly in Detroit, MI.
I supposedly have Cotillier French and Afro/Portuguese ancestors on my maternal side, but none of that family tree information has been substantiated. What is documented about the beginnings of the Cotillier family is is as follows:
“On the website, Virtual Jamestown the Cotillier family begins with a free white woman Katherine Jewell-Pond born about 1639 who had 3 illegitimate mulatto children, by an unknown black man, called by the surname Cattilla including Mary born 1669, William possibly born on 3/6/1670 (the date of his indenture) and Matthew (my direct ancestor) born 1672.”
The Courtillier Family Tree states that Abram Catillier, a free Negro of Jamestown Virginia, born 1652 was the father of Katherine Jewell-Pond’s three mulatto children. I find this information a bit disconcerting, because Katherine had her first mulatto child when she was about 30 and Abram Catillier would have been a 17 year old minor at that time (1669).
I’m a descendant of the Underground Railroad. My Binga ancestors escaped slavery from Newport, Campbell County, Kentucky in 1836. I’ve become an amateur family researcher and I’m loving it! Several of my cousins (maternal side) conducted research on the Cotillier/Catillier/Cotillia/Cutillo/Courtillier/Kerteller, etc… branch of our family (Paris France, Africa, Portugal, Quebec CA, Jamestown through to Richmond VA, Detroit MI, Saginaw and other parts of MI, Chicago IL, Ohio, Altadena and other parts of CA). Some of our family surnames are Berry, Epps, Combs, Francis, Stewart and many more.
I’ve conducted research on the Binga branch (maternal side) of our family (Africa, Virginia, Kentucky, Amherstburg OT, Chatham/Kent OT and other parts of Canada, Detroit, Saginaw, Howell, Pontiac and other parts of Michigan, St. Paul & Minneapolis MN, Cincinnati OH, Chicago IL, Harlem NY and more). Some of our family surnames are Binga, Cotillier, Robinson, McCowan, Winchester, Dandridge, Ford, Smith, Palmer, Dismond, Atkins, Hughes, Nash, Bowles, Williams, White, Marshall, Margolin, Coleman, Wright and many more. I’ve written articles about a few family members and the history connected to those individuals. I continue to be fascinated and amazed by my Binga ancestors, check out my Family Research category here.
Thanks for stopping by!