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RESEARCH THAT IDENTIFIED ARTIFACT!!!! – HISTORICAL & GENEALOGICAL RESEARCH RESOURCE:  Many collectors are fortunate enough to acquire a firearm, sword or sabre, uniform or other historical artifact that is identified to the person who owned and used the artifact during the course of our nation’s history.  The efforts to research historically significant firearms and other related collectables, and the genealogical history and government held records of the persons identified to a particular piece, certainly can be rewarding if you are successful, but more often those efforts will tax your patience, and become time consuming and often frustrating at best unless you have some prior experience in this type of project.

Several years ago I was fortunate to meet a lady who is not only skilled in researching historical personalities, but also has a true appreciation for our interest in the history and context of the collectables. Mrs. Miki Mangan is the penultimate “man hunter” – I don’t care how long you’ve been dead and buried, you can run, but you can’t hide for very long.  Miki not only has a dogged determination to find the person in question, but she has an absolutely uncanny knack of ferreting out family relationships, anecdotal information from period newspaper and journal reports, photographs, and genealogical traces of the person’s antecedents and descendants.

Miki has been successful in research projects including military personages – both officers and enlisted men, the famous and the unknown – 1840-1918; law enforcement officers and criminals 1860-1930’s; and Native Americans from the 19th Century, as well as some detailed searches for family members seeking information on specific relatives. Some of Miki’s more notable accomplishments include the following:

* Beginning with a unique, circa 1840’s custom made sword bearing a brief inscription, she was not only able to identify the US Army Surgeon who owned the sword, but also located a detailed description of the sword and an occasion when the sword was used in self defense in an obscure journal written by the surgeon during his service in the antebellum West.

* While researching a shop foreman employed at the Springfield Armory during the Civil War, she located descendants of the man and obtained a copy of the only known photograph of the gentleman – as the leader of the Springfield Armory Band, posed with the other members of the band. She was also able to obtain photographs of the man’s residence just down the street from the Armory.

* While researching A.D. King, the famous Ordnance Department sub-inspector, although unable to locate a photograph of the man (we’re still looking – if you have one, please contact me), she did obtain photographs of his wife, son, burial site and an abundance of other previously unknown information.

And this is only a very limited sampling. Many of her most notable successes are simply too detailed and complex to trace out in the space available here. In a world that has become increasingly suspicious and guarded in allowing research into a person’s background due to the concerns about identity theft, Miki has the right personality and a terrier like determination that repeatedly gets her through doors normally closed to the public; secures the trust and cooperation of family members who only minutes before were absolute strangers; and wears down even the most hardened bureaucrat.

Miki is very timely in her research efforts and continues to keep your project alive and working so long as there is any hope of finding additional information. She does charge a fee, dependant solely on the depth and breadth of the research project and the amount of work involved to include the actual fees charged by various agencies and repositories, however the quantity and quality of the results she is normally able to obtain renders the fee relatively inconsequential and the valued added benefit to your artifact certainly outweighs the fee.

Miki can be contacted via her email at .  I am more than happy to share this resource and this lady’s amazing talents with the collecting world, but this is her venture alone.   In the interest of full disclosure, Miki has not only done a tremendous amount of very satisfying research for us, she is also a close personal friend and we want to see her succeed in this venture. She has a friendly, engaging personality and will bend over backwards to accommodate you, but every willow has its limit. A word to the wise is usually sufficient. Be nice.



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