Edmond Edward Wolfe was born sometime around 1842, in County Kerry, Ireland. He was the son of Edward Wolfe, a Catholic farmer, and Mary Liston Wolfe. He had at least two siblings: James (b. 1848), and Margaret (b. 1849).
Little is known about Wolfe’s early years except that he appears to have joined many others in the extended Wolfe family in emigrating to the United States.
These included his uncle John R. Wolfe and Wolfe’s first cousin Maurice Wolfe, who sailed together on the Cornelia in 1847; his uncle Thomas R. Wolfe, who sailed the James H. Shepherd in 1848; his uncle Richard Wolfe, who took the Thomas H. Perkins in 1848; his uncle Maurice R. Wolfe and cousin Margaret Maher, who took the Senator in 1849; and his uncle Richard Wolfe, who sailed the Liverpool in 1849. A more distant cousin John E. Wolfe and his sisters also emigrated. These Wolfes settled in LaSalle County, Illinois, with some moving on to Clinton County, Illinois.
Edmond Wolfe emigrated to the United States and settled in LaSalle County sometime before 1867. On June 29 of that year he married Nancy Hartnet, a native of County Limerick, in LaSalle County. The couple had four children: Maurice M. (b. 1869), Catherine (b. 1872), Mary (b. ca. 1874), and Richard J. (b. 1876). The family farmed in Grand Rapids Township.
This was Nancy Hartnet Wolfe’s second marriage. She had been in LaSalle County at least since 1860, when she worked as a servant in the household of John Nattinger. On April 26, 1862, she married John Brosnahan, of County Kerry, and had two children: Julia (b. 1864) and Daniel (b. 1865). John Brosnahan dided on May 3, 1866, and his children went on to be raised by Edmond Wolfe and his new wife.
Edmond Wolfe died on March 25, 1889, after a month-long illness. The cause of death, according to his death certificate, was “lung fever,” or pneumonia. His wife, Nancy, moved to Chicago with her son Daniel and died there on January 19, 1905.