Athea, County Limerick (undated)

Athea, County Limerick (undated)

JAMES R. WOLFE (1800–1875)

James Richard Wolfe was born in 1800, possibly in Athea, County Limerick, the son of Richard James Wolfe and Johanna Relihan Wolfe. Wolfe's father was a prominent farmer whose family owned land in Cratloe and Athea. He also served as "the agent having charge of the property of the Knight of Kerry," according to Wolfe's History of Clinton County (1911), which likely involved care of Ballinruddery, the residence of Maurice FitzGerald, near Listowel, County Kerry.

James Wolfe was the eldest of at least nine children: Maurice Richard (b. 1802), John Richard (b. 1809), Ellen (b. ca. 1810), Thomas Richard (b. 1811), Johanna (b. 1812), Richard (b. 1815), Margaret Ellen (b. 1818), Edmond (b. 1821), and Patrick (b. 1822)

Sometime about 1837, Wolfe, as the eldest son, took over his father's land at Dromolought, in northern County Kerry. His brother Edward joined him in 1844 and perhaps Patrick, too.

Many of Wolfe's siblings and cousins soon immigrated to the United States. These included his brother John R. Wolfe and their first cousin Maurice Wolfe, who sailed together on the Cornelia in 1847; brother Thomas R. Wolfe, who sailed the James H. Shepherd in 1848; cousin Richard Wolfe, who took the Thomas H. Perkins in 1848; brother Maurice R. Wolfe, who took the Senator in 1849; and brother Richard Wolfe, who sailed the Liverpool in 1849. Their cousin John E. Wolfe and his sisters also immigrated. The Wolfes settled first in LaSalle County, Illinois; some moved on to Clinton County, Iowa.

Little else is known of James Wolfe's life. He married and had at least three, but likely many more, children: Maurice (b. ca. 1823), Thomas (b. 1841), and Richard (b. 1842).

Wolfe died on May 26, 1875, and is buried at Templeathea, County Limerick.