Edward Wolfe was baptized on February 2, 1821, at Garryantanavalla in the Parish of Listowel, County Kerry, Ireland. He was the son of Richard James Wolfe, a Catholic farmer, and Johanna Relihan Wolfe. His baptismal sponsors were Jeremiah Maher and Honora McCoy. Wolfe had at least nine siblings: James Richard (b. 1800), 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), and Patrick (b. 1822).
Virtually nothing is known of Wolfe’s life. In Wolfe’s History of Clinton County (1911), Judge Patrick B. Wolfe describes his grandfather Richard J. Wolfe as “the agent having charge of the property of the Knight of Kerry.” The eighteenth knight of Kerry was Maurice FitzGerald and one of his properties, located near Listowel, was Ballinruddery. Richard Wolfe likely owned his own land, as well, and in 1844, his eldest son James and his son Edward took control of that property.
In the meantime, many of Edward Wolfe’s siblings and cousins 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.
Sometime around 1841 Wolfe married Mary Liston, and the couple had at least three, but likely more, children: Edmond Edward (b. ca. 1842), James (b. 1848), and Margaret (b. 1849).
In 1851, the couple moved with their children to Ashgrove, County Cork, directly south of the city of Limerick. Nothing more is known of their lives.