Patrick R. Wolfe was born in August 1861, in Athea, County Limerick, Ireland. He was the son of Richard Edmond “Dicky Ned” Wolfe, a Catholic farmer, and Catherine White. Wolfe had nine siblings: Maurice Richard (b. 1853), Richard W. (b. 1866), Ellen “Nellie,” John W. (b. 1867), Mary A. (b. 1870), Hannah, Nano, Michael, and Edmund (or Edmond).
Patrick Wolfe immigrated to the United States in 1885. Records indicate that his brother Richard left Queenstown, County Cork, on May 7, 1885, on a ship owned by the Cunard Steamship Company. The American destination is unclear. It appears that joining Richard were his siblings Patrick, Ellen, John, Mary, and Nano. By 1900, Patrick Wolfe had settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, while the other family members lived in Chicago, Illinois.
Wolfe’s father, Dicky Ned Wolfe, was the eldest of four or five siblings and the only one who did not immigrate to the United States. Patrick Wolfe’s uncle, John E. Wolfe, immigrated sometime around 1850, traveling first to LaSalle County, Illinois, and then to Clinton County, Iowa.
The federal census of 1900 identifies Patrick Wolfe as a book agent living in a boarding house in Philadelphia’s third ward. In 1901 or 1902, he married a woman named Julie or Julia; her maiden name is unknown. They had three children: Catherine (b. ca. 1903), Eileen (b. ca. 1906), and Richard (b. ca. 1908).
By 1910 the family was living in the Bronx, New York, where Wolfe worked for a publishing company. For the next decade he remained in the book business while his wife opened a dress shop. Their daughter Catherine taught school. The 1930 census indicates Wolfe worked as a salesman for a coal company, his daughter Catherine as an officer clerk in a public school, his daughter Eileen and son Richard as school teachers.
Wolfe appears to have moved to Chicago, where he died on June 5, 1939. His wife die there on November 15, 1953, and they are buried together in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Alsip, Illinois.