Maurice Carey Wolfe was born sometime around 1835, probably in Listowel, County Kerry, Ireland. His parents were Maurice Wolfe, a Catholic farmer, and Ellen Catherine Carey. Wolfe had ten siblings: James Carey (b. 1831), Ellen (b. 1833), John Carey (b. 1839), Mary Ann (b. 1842), Thomas Carey (b. 1843), Margaret (b. ca. 1845), Johanna (b. 1847), Richard Carey (b. 1848), Catherine “Kate” (b. 1851), and Bridget Veronica (b. 1854).
In 1847, Wolfe, his parents, and several siblings emigrated to the United States, along with the elder Maurice Wolfe’s first cousin John R. Wolfe and his family. (Maurice Wolfe and John R. Wolfe shared a grandfather, James M. “The Barrister” Wolfe.) The families arrived in New York on August 23, and after a stop in Chicago made their way to LaSalle County, Illinois. John R. Wolfe and his family moved to Clinton County, Iowa, around 1855.
Many members of the extended Wolfe family made the same journey. The younger Maurice Wolfe’s uncle John Wolfe emigrated in 1849. John R. Wolfe’s brother Thomas R. came from Ireland in 1848 and his brothers Maurice R. and Richard separately in 1849. Other cousins came, as well, including Margaret and Elizabeth Maher, daughters of John R. Wolfe’s sister Ellen, and Patrick, Dennis, Bridget, and Thomas Sheehan, the children of John R. Wolfe’s sister Margaret. Another cousin, John E. Wolfe, and his sisters Ellen J. and Mary Agatha, also emigrated. All of these Wolfes, except for the Sheehans, settled in LaSalle County, Illinois. A few moved on to Clinton County, Iowa, including the elder Maurice Wolfe, his family, and his cousin John R. Wolfe.
Maurice Wolfe never married. The federal census of 1880 identifies him as a farmer living in Liberty Township, Clinton County, living in the same household as his sisters Mary and Bridget, and his nephew Jeremiah “Jerry” Mulvihill, the son of his sister Ellen.
By 1910, he had retired from farming and lived with his brother Richard in the town of DeWitt in Clinton County.
He died on October 28, 1910, and is buried at Saint James Cemetery in Toronto, Iowa.
image: from the Oxford Mirror (Oxford Junction, Iowa), November 3, 1910, page 4