Money Box

This money box (WCMA, 2016.5.1) is nearly 200 years old, so it's not surprising that it looks a little worse for wear. The sealskin covering is peeling and missing in places, the hinges are rusted and broken, and the locking mechanism was cut out long ago.

photograph of money boxCaption: Money Box
Credit: WCMA, 2016.5.1.

This box is an heirloom that belonged to the Stockton family of Minto Township, who passed it down from father to son for five generations. The first owner of this box was William Johnson Stockton (1791-1870), the son of United Empire Loyalist Lieutenant Andrew Hunter Stockton (1760-1821). Both Andrew and his father, Major Richard Witham Stockton (1733-1801) fought with British forces during the American Revolutionary War. This war split the Stockton family, with some members taking up the Patriot cause while others allied themselves with the Loyalists. One prominent Stockton Patriot was Major Stockton's first cousin and neighbour, Richard Stockton.

Signatures on the United States Declaration of Independence
Caption: This Richard Stockton was one of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence, after whom Stockton University in New Jersey is named.


At the end of the war, the Loyalist Stocktons settled in New Brunswick, where William was born. William married Ann Nevers (1978-1883) in 1816, and together they had fourteen children. In 1825, William and his family travelled to Brant County to begin a new life in Upper Canada. They used this money box to safeguard their valuables on the long journey.

The Stocktons travelled aboard the schooner Henrietta from Saint John to New York, and then through the newly-opened Erie Canal to Upper Canada. They settled in South Dumfries Township on Concession 5, Lot 38. When William died in 1870, he left half of the farm to his eldest son, Andrew, and the other half to his son Samuel.

According to family lore, Samuel Stockton (1839-1906) sold his half of the farm to Andrew after the death of their mother in 1883. He moved to Minto Township and settled on Concession 8, Lot 41, lured by the promise of good hunting in Minto's forests. Samuel took the money box with him to his new home, and passed it down
to his eldest son, Alva.

The tradition of passing the box down from father to son continued for three more generations: Alva gave the box to Suttell, who gave it to his son Stewart, who in turn left it to his children Allan and Joan. The Wellington County Museum and Archives is thrilled to have this artifact join our collection.

© 2023 County of Wellington, 74 Woolwich St. Guelph, Ontario N1H 3T9, T 519.837.2600, TF 1.800.663.0750, F 519.837.1909