William John Wittfoht

William John WITTFOHT

Name: William John Wittfoht

Date of Birth: 7 March 1871

Birth location: Hamburg, Germany

Age at Burial: 74 years

Date of Death: 11 Dec 1945

Death location: Cottesloe, Western Australia

Date of Burial: 13 Dec 1945

Denomination: Catholic

Row/Grave: Row 4 Grave # 16

Grave transcription:

Sacred To The Memory Of


Beloved Husband of


Loving father of

Ida, Mary, Frances, Catherine & Theresa

Died 11TH Dec 1945.

Aged 74 years.

Also his beloved wife and our mother


Died 23RD Dec 1949.

Aged 79 years.

Requiescat in pace.

Father: Hans Heinrich Wittfoht 1835 – 1921

Mother: Ida Auguste Kruse 1847 – 1882

Grandparents (Father):

Grandparents (Mother):


Martha Wittfoht born 1869 died 1957

Adolf Heinrich Wittfoht born 1873 died 1953

Anna Therese Wilhelmine Wittfoht born 1877 died 1971

Johannes Paul Wittfoht born 1885 died 1953


Catherine Gaffney married 12 June 1892. Daughter of James and Mary Gaffney


Margaret Ida Wittfoht – born 1893 died 1970.  Married Thomas Henry Scott, born 1906 died 1993, son of Albert Henry William Scott and May Letitia Hutton.

Mary Martha Wittfoht – born 1895 died 1958.  Married Thomas Starling Hearn, born 1896 died 1972, son of Samuel John Hearn and Margaret Dewer Gray.

Frances Anna Wittfoht – born 1902 died 1980.  Married Bernard Stainislaus Horan, born 1903 died 1982, son of William Horan and Rosa Burns.

Catherine Eustelle Wittfoht – born 1904 died 2006.  Married Frederick George Hutton, born 1904 died 1973, son of Thomas Giles Hutton and Eliza Maslin.

Alwina Theresa Wittfoht – born 1909 died 2007.  David Sharpe born 1905 died 1954

Occupation: Farmer

Military Service:

Their Story

The following is a summary of William John Wittfoht’s life taken from the book by John K. Scott 2020. “The fruitful life of William John Wittfoht Biography of a Capel River pioneer farmer.” 143 pp.

William John Wittfoht was born in Hamburg, Germany in 1871. He left for Australia in 1889, aged 18, arriving in Port Pirie, South Australia. While in Port Pirie he married Catherine Gaffney on the 12 June 1892 in the Roman Catholic Church, before moving to Broken Hill, New South Wales, where their first two daughters were born.

In 1898 they moved to Western Australia, taking up land on the Capel River where they were to remain for the rest of their lives. Another three daughters were born here. He became naturalised in 1905 and was active in civic affairs, joining various road boards and agricultural committees. He was not interned during the First World War, unlike many others of German origin even if naturalised, but withdrew from most civic duties including as Chairman of the Capel Road Board.

Following the war, he was a successful fruit farmer, owned many properties and had built a substantial house in 1922 called Ardenvale at 1205 Goodwood Road along the Capel River, that is now on the State Register of Heritage Places. He died in 1945 and Catherine died in 1949. By this time four of his five daughters had married into farming families, and the Wittfoht name was lost from Australia.

Information complied by researcher JKS.

Additional Information:

inHerit – Ardenvale Homestead – link

Trove Article – Wittfoht Obituary 27 Dec 1945 – link


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© Capel District Cemeteries Project 25.09.2021

Wittfoht William and Catherine