The Wolfe gravestone at Templeathea, County Limerick

The Wolfe gravestone at Templeathea, County Limerick

ELLEN MAHER WOLFE (ca. 1849–1943)

Ellen Maher (also spelled Meagher) was born about 1849, probably near Listowel, County Kerry, the daughter of Patrick Maher and Ellen Wolfe Maher. She had eight siblings: Margaret (b. 1829), Patrick (b. ca. 1831), Elizabeth (b. 1836), Johanna (b. 1838), Honora (b. 1844), Bartholomew (b. 1846), Mary (b. 1848),  and Catherine (b. 1853).

In 1849, Maher's sister Margaret immigrated to the United States with her mother's brother Maurice R. Wolfe. Her sister Elizabeth immigrated in 1857. During the 1840s, many Wolfes left Ireland, including Ellen Maher’s uncle John R. Wolfe and his cousin Maurice, who sailed together in 1847; her uncle Thomas R. Wolfe, who sailed in 1848; her mother’s cousin Richard Wolfe, who also sailed in 1848; and her uncle Richard Wolfe, who sailed separately from her in 1849. A cousin, John E. Wolfe, also came to the United States, and all of these Wolfes, including Margaret and Elizabeth Maher, settled first in LaSalle County, Illinois. Some went on to Clinton County, Iowa.

On February 26, 1881, Maher married Richard J. "Brown Dick" Wolfe in Listowel, and the couple had at least six children: Honora "Nora" (b. 1882), John R. J. (b. 1883), Ellen "Ellie" (b. 1885), Patrick (b. 1887), Kathleen (b. ca. 1889), and Maurice J. (b. 1891). Ellie Wolfe died of meningitis on October 11, 1894.

Ellen Maher Wolfe's sister Honora also married back into the Wolfe family, wedding James P. "Paddy" Wolfe.

For forty years Richard Wolfe sat on the Newcastle West Rural District Council and Board of Guardians, one of several such bodies in Limerick empowered by Parliament to aid the poor and help defray the costs of emigration. He died at the Limerick County Infirmary, after an operation, on June 7, 1915. Ellen Wolfe died in Cratloe on September 29, 1943. They are buried at Templeathea.