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FICAS Research Affiliates

Margaret Kimball Brown

Margaret Brown has worked in archaeology and preservation for over 50 years. She specializes in French colonial and eighteenth century Indigenous studies. She has conducted research excavations at the Zimmerman, Waterman, and Louvier sites, as well as Fort de Chartres and Fort Michilimackinac. She is the author of five books on colonial Illinois, and has written numerous small publications, journal articles, and technical archaeological reports.

Brown served as Staff Archaeologist and Chief Archaeologist for the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, and Site Manager of Cahokia Mounds State Historic site. She has served on the Illinois Historic Sites Advisory Council, and the boards of the Illinois Archaeological Survey, the Society of Professional Archaeologists, and the Illinois Humanities Council. Brown recovered her BA in English from University of Minnesota, her MA in Anthropology from Michigan State University, and her PhD in Anthropology from Michigan State University.

Curtis Mann

Curtis Mann has worked as librarian, archivist, and historian in Illinois for over 30 years. Mann’s research interests include the English colony founded by George Flower and Morris Birkbeck in Edwards County, Illinois, and the early agricultural history and settlement of central Illinois. He has co-authored numerous pictorial histories about the history of Springfield. Mann worked as a Research Librarian at the Illinois Legislative Research Unit, and was a partner in the research firm Sangamon Researchers where he prepared nomination forms for the National Register of Historic Places as well as local landmark forms for the city of Springfield. He currently serves as the Manager of the Sangamon Valley Collection at Lincoln Library in Springfield, Illinois. He is also the official Historian for the city of Springfield. 

Mann has served on the boards of the Sangamon County Historical Society, the Illinois Foundation for Frontier Studies, the Elijah Iles House Foundation, and the Springfield Historic Preservation Association.  He currently serves as a member of the Illinois State Historic Sites Advisory Council. Mann received his BA in History from Southern Illinois University and his MS in Information Sciences from the University of Illinois.

Michael McCafferty

Michael McCafferty has studied languages for over forty years. His principal research interests are the New World French and Illinois-Miami languages, Illinois-Miami language place names, and French trade networks in the Illinois Country and Wabash valley. He is the author of Native American Place-Names of Indiana, numerous journal articles on language and place names, and has translated three Jesuit Illinois-French dictionaries.

McCafferty studied French language and culture at Wabash College, Lycée Eugène Fromentin, the Université de Montréal, and Indiana University, and taught elementary school on a Navajo reservation in New Mexico. He currently teaches language at Indiana University. McCafferty received his BA in French Linguistics and his MA in Linguistics at Indiana University with an emphasis on the Nahuatl language of Mexico.

William Weedman

William Weedman has participated in archaeology and living history programs for over forty years. He served as Technical Assistant in the Anthropology Department of the Illinois State Museum and Research Assistant for the Illinois State Archaeological Survey. He has been active in colonial and American frontier living history events since the mid-1970s.

Weedman’s research interests include early firearms, hand-forged tools and hardware, and the blacksmithing tradition. He also conserves excavated iron artifacts and works with curators of archaeological collections to develop and maintain curation protocols. He has contributed to a number of technical archaeological reports as a specialist in weaponry, metals, and architectural materials.

Lawrie Cena Dean

Lawrie Dean is a French language and literature scholar who has worked as historian, archivist, translator, and researcher in French colonial studies for over 50 years. She studied languages in Paris and Munich, and has focused on French language, composition, and 17th – 19th century literature.

Dean initiated the massive “Kaskaskia Manuscripts” project in 1973, where she examined, summarized, and cataloged over 6000 French colonial and early American documents. She is the author of the Kaskaskia Manuscripts Calendar, co-author of the associated “Village of Chartres” (with Margaret Brown), as well as several small publications and articles concerning French colonial Illinois. Dean received her BA in French and German from University of Kansas, and her MA in French Language and Literature from the University of Chicago.

Robert Mazrim

Robert Mazrim has worked in Midwestern archaeology for over 30 years. He specializes in the Protohistoric, Colonial, and Frontier periods of the Midwest. He has conducted research excavations at a number of colonial and frontier-context sites in Illinois, including Fort de Chartres, the French colonial village of Cahokia, the Francois Valle II site in Ste. Genevieve Missouri, Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site, and the Morris Birkbeck estate in the community of Wanborough. He is the author of seven books and numerous journal articles and technical reports concerning the archaeology and history of the Midwest.

Mazrim founded the Sangamo Archaeological Center and designed the Under the Prairie Archaeological Museum, which was operated by the SAC until 2009. He served as Historic Resources Specialist / Associate Scientist for the Illinois State Archaeological Survey (University of Illinois, Champaign) for 25 years. He was Adjunct Professor at Illinois State University (Graduate Program in Historic Archaeology), and has conducted fieldwork and analysis for a number of programs and agencies. Mazrim studied Anthropology at Illinois State University and the University of Wisconsin, and received a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Art and Anthropology.

Mark Walczynski

Mark Walczynski is Park Historian for the Starved Rock Foundation located at Starved Rock State Park, Utica, Illinois. His studies include the Franco-Amerindian history of the Western Great Lakes and the Illinois Country during the last half of the 1600s. He is also an affiliate with the Illinois Archaeological Survey. 

He has written several books on the history of Starved Rock and the French-Native American period in Illinois. His work has been published in the Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, Le Journal, Michigan’s Habitant Heritage, American Heritage, and other publications.    


Mark is retired from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and Illinois Valley Community College in Oglesby, IL. 

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