Ellen J. Wolfe was born in April 1832, in Listowel, County Kerry, Ireland. This is based on her obituary, gravestone, and possibly other sources; however, a record notes the baptism of “Ellen Wolf” of Garryantanavally on October 5, 1829, in the parish of Listowel. Her parents were Edmond Maurice Wolfe, a Catholic farmer, and Margaret Sullivan. Witnesses to the baptism were John Wolfe and Catherine Burns. Ellen Wolfe had three and possibly four siblings: Richard Edmond “Dicky Ned” (b. 1824), Mary Agatha (b. 1834), John Edmond (b. 1837), and Patrick (b. ca. 1844), the latter’s relationship remaining unconfirmed.
Wolfe and all of her siblings except for Dicky Ned Wolfe immigrated to the United States, but the circumstances of their travel is unclear. They probably were accompanied by other relatives, and during the 1840s many Wolfes left Ireland and settled first in LaSalle County, Illinois, and then in Clinton County, Iowa. These included John Wolfe’s cousins Maurice Wolfe and John R. Wolfe, who sailed together on the Cornelia in 1847; Thomas R. Wolfe, who sailed the James H. Shepherd in 1848; Richard Wolfe, who took the Thomas H. Perkins in 1848; Maurice R. Wolfe, who took the Senator in 1849; and Richard Wolfe, who sailed the Liverpool in 1849. All these men shared a descent from Maurice J. “Old Maurice” Wolfe.
Census records and Wolfe’s obituary state she came to the United States in 1848 or 1849. By 1850, she was living a hotel in Ottawa, LaSalle County, Illinois, with her sister Margaret. The possibly worked as teacher.
On April 23, 1854, she married Eugene P. Redmond, like her an Irish immigrant, in LaSalle County, and the couple had five children: Jane (b. ca. 1855), Arthur H. (b. ca. 1859), Margaret (b. ca. 1859), Edward J. (b. 1861), and Richard P. (b. 1868). Eugene Redmond died sometime between 1870 and 1880.
Ellen J. Redmond died at her home in Ottawa, Illinois, and is buried in Saint Columba Cemetery in that city.
image: Frosted Farmland, LaSalle County, Illinois