Allan Doyle

Mary Martha Hearn

Name: HEARN Mary Martha

Date of Birth: 1895

Maiden Name: WITTFOHT

Birth Location: Broken Hill, NSW.

Age at Burial: 63years

Date of Death: 23 December 1958

Death Location: Bunbury WA.

Date of Burial: 24 December 1958

Denomination: Catholic

Row/Grave: Row 6 Grave 26

Grave Transcription:


Loving Memory







DIED 23rd DEC. 1958



Father: William John Wittfoht born: 7 March 1871, Hamburg, Germany. Died: 11 December 1945. Buried Capel

Mother: Catherine Gaffney born: 25 June 1870, Cross Keys, Ireland. Died: 23 December 1949. Buried Capel

Grandfather (Father): Hans Heinrich Wittfoht born: 1835 Died: 1921

Grandmother (Father): Ida Auguste Kruse born: 1847 Died: 1882

Grandfather (Mother): James Gaffney born: 1826 Died: 1911

Grandmother (Mother): Mary Cullen born: 1832 Died: 1904



Margaret “Ida” Wittfoht born: 1893 Died: 1970 Buried Capel. Married: 1927 Thomas Henry Scott.

Frances Anna “Fanny” Wittfoht born: 1902 Died: 1980 Buried Karrakatta. Married: 1928 Bernard Stanislaw Horan.

Catherine Eustelle “Catie” Wittfoht born: 1904 Died: 2006 Buried Capel. Married: 1927 Frederick George Hutton.

Alwina Theresa “Tessie” Wittfoht born: 1909 Died: 2007 Buried Capel. Married: 1936 David Sharpe.

Spouse: Thomas Starling Hearn born: 1896 Guildford. Died: 25 December 1972. Buried Capel Cemetery

Children: William John “Bill” Hearn born: 18 November 1929. Died: 23 December 2012. Cremated Bunbury.

Occupation: School Teacher and Home duties.

Their Story:

Mary’s father was William John Wittfoht, born in Hamburg, Germany. He joined the Merchant Navy, arriving in Port Pirie, South Australia. Here he met Catherine Gaffney, of Irish descent. They were married 12 June 1892 and moved to Broken Hill to work in the mines there. Here Margaret Ida was born in 1893, followed by Mary Martha in 1895.

In 1897, when Mary was 2 years old, the family took up land, “Ardenvale” on the Capel River in Southwest, Western Australia, living in a tent until their house could be built.

Three more girls were born here. Frances Anna, in 1902, Catherine Eustelle, in 1904 and then in 1909, Alwina Theresa completed the family.

Mary had schooling with Mrs Yates and finally attended the Sacred Heart Convent in North Perth. She took her intermediate certificate and did a six month Teacher Training Course at Claremont Teachers College.

She taught at the Capel River School and rode a black pony called Bruce to and from the school. Her little sister Tessie rode on the back of the pony behind her. Mary taught at many country schools- Marybrook, Picton, Nannup, Calingiri, Perenjori, Goodwood, Wackenup and Dumbleyung.

Whilst teaching at Dumbleyung, Mary met and married Thomas Starling Hearn on January 19, 1929. They then moved to Hines Hill, near Merredin and bought a farm with money that Mary had saved and a bank loan.

Trove Article – Hearn-Wittfoht Wedding -link

Later that year, on November 18, 1929, Mary and Tom welcomed a son, William.

Trove Article – Baby William John Hearn – link

In 1936, after the depression, Mary and Tom had to walk off the farm with nothing. Mary’s father, William Wittfoht bought “Horseshoe” at Boyup Brook so Mary and Tom could continue farming.

Sadly, Mary’s father died in December 1945 and then in December 1949 her mother passed away.

Mary and Tom’s only child, Bill married Frances Margaret Pickering on January 10, 1953, in Margaret River. They also made their home at Boyup Brook.

Trove Article – William “Bill” Hearn Wedding – link

The farm was sold in 1958, when Mary and Tom moved to Bunbury. Mary had cancer and lost her battle just before Christmas the same year.

Tom died in 1972. His funeral was arranged by his brother-in-law, Fred Hutton.

Compiled by Relatives of Mary Hearn. Research by CDCP.

Links to other websites and family members with additional information included in story.


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© Capel District Cemeteries Project 29.10.2021


Mary & Tom Hearn Wedding Day
Wittfoht Sisters - Mary, Tessie, Catie, Fanny & Ida
Mary Hearn