Ellen Wolfe Maher (ca. 1810–1886)

Ellen Wolfe was born about 1810 in Listowel, County Kerry, Ireland. She was the son of Richard James Wolfe, a Catholic farmer, and Johanna Relihan Wolfe. Wolfe had at least nine siblings: James Richard (b. 1800), Maurice Richard (b. 1802), John Richard (b. 1809), Thomas Richard (b. 1811), Johanna (b. 1812), Richard (b. 1815), Margaret Ellen (b. 1818), Edward (b. 1821), and Patrick (b. 1822).

Virtually nothing is known of Wolfe’s life. Sometime about 1828, she married Patrick Maher (sometimes spelled Meagher), and the couple had nine children: Margaret (b. 1829), Patrick (b. ca. 1831), Elizabeth (b. 1836), Johanna (b. 1838), Honora (b. ca. 1842), Bartholomew (b. 1846), Mary (b. 18418), Ellen (b. 1850), and Catherine (b. 1853).

Ellen Wolfe Maher’s brothers James and Edward took over their father’s land while her other brothers immigrated to the United States. These included her brother John and their first cousin Maurice Wolfe, who sailed together on the Cornelia in 1847; her brother Thomas, who sailed the James H. Shepherd in 1848; her cousin Richard Wolfe, who took the Thomas H. Perkins in 1848; and her brother Richard, who sailed the Liverpool in 1849. Her cousin John E. Wolfe and his sisters also emigrated.

In 1849, Ellen Maher’s brother Maurice took her daughter Margaret with him when he immigrated aboard the Senator in 1849. He and the other Wolfes settled in LaSalle County, Illinois; some later moved to Clinton County, Iowa.

Nothing else is known of Maher’s life. She died in 1886 in the town of Duagh, about nine kilometers southeast of Listowel. Her husband, Patrick, died there in 1894.

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