Sixteenth-century map of County Limerick (National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London)

JAMES WOLFE (d. before 1638)

James Wolfe, also known as James Wolfe of Corbally, was born perhaps in the 1570s in Limerick City, County Limerick, Ireland. His surname is sometimes spelled Woulfe. He was the son of Richard Wolfe, who was sheriff of Limerick City in 1591; the grandson of John Wolfe, bailiff of the city in 1567 and mayor in 1578; great grandson of Thomas Wolfe, city sheriff in 1520; and great-great grandson of Thomas Wolfe, also known as Thomas Wolfe of Ballyphilip, who was sheriff in 1476.

Wolfe was a Catholic merchant of Limerick and Corbally (present-day Longstone, Geran Parish. His wife is believed to have the surname Harold, and the couple had five, possibly six sons: PatrickGeorgeJamesAndrewStephen, and Francis, the latter's relationship remaining unconfirmed. Patrick likely became a merchant or farmer, while George joined the military and James, Andrew, and Francis the priesthood.

Records indicate that, in 1611, Wolfe advanced £108 and twelve three-year-old milch cows to Edmund Burke of Garranekishy toward the purchase of land that had once been in the Wolfe family. He established title to the land three years later. His estate totaled about 1,500 acres.

Wolfe wrote his first will in 1620, awarding his property to his eldest son, Patrick. He twice revoked the will, however, each time leaving his estate to different sons. When he died, sometime before 1638, his will had been amended again, this time in favor of Patrick. Patrick Wolfe died soon after his father, and the estate's ultimate inheritor was his eldest son, James Wolfe.