For the past 16 years Missouri's Burnt District has been Tom Rafiner's sole research target. Jackson, Cass, Bates, and Vernon counties receive 100% of his time.
In 2003 I began researching the stories of the 1,400 families who lived in Cass County in 1860 and who were later devastated by Civil War and General Orders No. 11. Since then scope of my research has expanded to include the above four counties for the period 1840 to 1870.
My primary interest remains burnt district individuals & families, and the communities in which they lived. By September 30, 1863 Missouri's Burnt District lay empty and destroyed. Recovering family stories and community narratives demands painstaking research and diligent focus - but this is my passion!
Tom A. Rafiner