Margaret Ellen Wolfe was born on September 27, 1818, in Listowel, County Kerry, Ireland. Her parents were 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), Ellen (b. ca. 1810), Thomas Richard (b. 1811), Johanna (b. 1812), Richard (b. 1815), Edward (b. 1821), and Patrick (b. 1822).
According to Wolfe’s History of Clinton County (1911), edited by Judge Patrick B. Wolfe, Richard J. Wolfe was “the agent having charge of the property of the Knight of Kerry.” The eighteenth knight of Kerry was Maurice FitzGerald, and his property, near Listowel, was Ballinruddery.
Margaret Wolfe’s brothers Maurice, John, Thomas, and Richard, along with a first cousin, Maurice Wolfe, all immigrated to the United States between 1847 and 1849, settling first in LaSalle County, Illinois. Some later moved on to Clinton County, Iowa.
Little is known of Margaret Wolfe’s life. She married Dennis Sheehan, and they may have lived in the village of Foynes, County Limerick, near the coast on the River Shannon, between the city of Limerick and Listowel. The couple had at least six children: Mary (b. 1841), Patrick W. (b. 1843), Margaret Ellen (b. 1847), Dennis Wolfe (b. 1852), Bridget Ellen (b. 1853), and Thomas (b. 1860).
Patrick and Dennis Sheehan immigrated to the United States in 1872, and settled in Newport, Rhode Island. Bridget and Thomas Sheehan later joined them there.
Nothing else is known of Margaret Ellen Wolfe Sheehan’s life, although it is assumed that she and her husband remained in Foynes until their deaths.