Wednesday, August 14, 2013
I received John Bennet Winters' 1871 petition for a free peddler's license. I knew that my third-great-grandfather had had a difficult life, and this document told me that he had had even more bad luck. His grocery business had failed, and he needed to peddle tea and coffee to earn a living, but could not afford to pay for a license. Fortunately, his petition was granted.
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
As a result of the Great Fire in 1871, most of Chicago's records prior to that time were destroyed. But in 1983, the proceedings of the Chicago City Council from 1833 to 1871 were discovered in a warehouse in southwest Chicago. The Illinois State Archives has made a searchable index to these records available at http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/archives/databases/chicago_proceedings/home.html. I found an entry for the petition of John B. Winters for a free peddler's license. I believe this relates to my 3rd-great-grandfather John Bennet Winters. I called the Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD) at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago. A copy of the document will be sent to me, and I will be invoiced. I am so lucky that this document still survives!