Patrick W. Sheehan was born on November 13, 1843, in Athea Parish, County Limerick, Ireland. He was the son of Dennis Sheehan, a Catholic farmer, and Margaret Ellen Wolfe Sheehan. He had at least five siblings: Mary (b. 1841), Margaret Ellen (b. 1847), Dennis Wolfe (b. 1852), Bridget Ellen (b. 1853), and Thomas (b. 1860).
Sheehan emigrated to the United States with his brother Dennis, arriving in New York City on May 22, 1872. They settled in Newport, Rhode Island, where their siblings Bridget and Thomas later joined them.
Sheehan did not marry or have children. He died on October 19, 1894, in Newport. He left behind the following will, recorded by the Newport Probate Court:
I, Patrick W. Sheehan, of the city of Newport and the state of RI, do hereby publish, declare and make this my last will and testament, that is to say as follows:
First, I nominate and appoint Dennis W. Sheehan the executor of this my last will and testament without being required to give bond for the proper performance thereof.
Second: I give, bequeath and devise to Dennis W. Sheehan and his heirs all the real estate of which I shall be seized at the time of my death.
Third: I give to Julia A Sheehan, the sum of one hundred dollars
Forth: to Ellen Pauline Sheehan—one hundred dollars
Fifth: to my niece Theresa Sheehan—one hundred dollars
Sixth: to Mary Agnes Sheehan—one hundred dollars
Seventh: to Natalie Sheehan—one hundred dollars
Eighth: To my sister Bridget Sheehan—fifty dollars
Ninth: to my sister Mary Harnett—fifty dollars
Tenth: to my sister Margaret Harrington the sum of fifty dollars if she is alive and can be found within six years, said sum of fifty dollars and if not found to my brother Dennis W. Sheehan
Eleventh: To my brother Thomas Sheehan—one hundred dollars
And lastly: The residue of my estate whether real or personal property I give and bequeath to my brother Dennis W. Sheehan
The eighteenth day of October 1894. Patrick W. (his mark) Sheehan
Peter F. Curley
Grace D. Seeley