***Latest update 3/3/09***

A Sad loss for the Woulfe Clan...

Sean Mac Muiris de Bhulbh - Sean Maurice Woulfe of Limerick City.

Our beloved cousin and one of the primary mentors for this project, Sean DeBhulbh died February 7th 2009.

Here is the obituary from The Limerick Leader...

DE BHULBH (WOULFE) Seán M, South Circular Road, Limerick City and formerly of Abbeyfeale. Late Engineer with Limerick County Council. On February 7. Removal from Thompson's Funeral Home, Thomas Street to St Joseph's Church Tuesday evening at 7pm. Requiem Mass on Wednesday at 10.30am. Funeral afterwards to Temple Athea Cemetery

Sean was the Author of many books on Irish history and language, including "Irish Surnames". Sean was born in Abbeyfeale, Co, Limerick in 1922. He graduated in Engineering at Trinity College Dublin. Married to his beloved Maire Murphy. Together, they raised 5 children. He worked on engineering projects at home - mainly in Counties Kerry and Limerick and abroad. On his retirement in 1987, he realized a life-long ambition to follow in the footsteps of his kinsman, Father Patrick woulfe, and add something to the lore of our forefathers. Sean has been a huge help to me in the project. During our visits to Ireland, Sean and his family, acted as guides, and took us to many important sites during our days in Limerick. We were fortunate to have him visit our home in Florida. Sean is truly an Irish National treasure.

Website edited by Michael Woulfe, Boca Raton, Florida, USA

***New email address***


Contributions from: Paul MacCotter, Jane Woulfe Cooper (Aunt Dollie),Kathy Woulfe, Barbara Clark, Bill and Jim MacAuliffe, Ray Gentleman, and dozens of others. My deepest gratitide goes to my cousin John Woulfe in Australia and my cousin Sean de Bhulbh in Limerick city. Sean is central to my knowledge and understanding of our family in Ireland, and John has been my support and friend for more than a decade. Without them, this site would never have become the comprehensive research tool that is here for all of you.


This site dedicated to my beloved mother, Dolores May Woulfe, an inspiration for the search for our Irish roots.

My mother, Dolores May Woulfe, lost a long battle to cancer Monday, May 25th, 2003. She was 71. She was born March 5th, 1932 in Washington, D.C. to Michael Leo Woulfe of Dublin, Ireland and Virginia Ruffner Woulfe of Luray, Virginia. She was named Dolores after Our Lady of Dolors Church in Dublin, Ireland. She grew up in Washington D.C., Tampa, Florida, and Norfolk, Virginia during the war years while her father worked repairing Navy ships for Otis Elevator. She attended High School at Sacred Heart Academy in Washington, D.C. She married my father, Arthur Miner April 5th,1952. She was a loving mother to her 3 children, Michael, John, and Karen, and grandmother to Karen's children Jon and Shannon. I was fortunate to accompany her to Ireland in 2000 and 2001. She worked at Barry University in Miami Shores, Florida for the last 15 years. She was a dual citizen of the U.S. and Ireland, and very proud of getting her Irish citizenship in the last year of her life. Her giving ways and wonderful sense of humor will be missed.



In the years since I've updated the site, many things have changed. We have lost some contributors like our dear Carol Taggart, my friend and mentor John Woulfe in Australia lost his dear wife Marg, and Sean de Bhulb in Limerick lost his angel Maire. Our thoughts and prayers are with them.. mw


The only commercial you'll find on this site... buy Sean DeBhulbh's book!!!

Sloinnte Uile Éireann - All Ireland Surnames

Published by Comhar-chumann Íde Naofa Teo. Áras Íde, Faing, Co. Luimnigh, Éire.

Written by Seán de Bhulbh

Recommended Retail Price:

Hard Cover: €40.00. ISBN 09530560 5 8

Paper-Back: €20.00. ISBN 09530560 6 6

484 pages : 170mm x 245mm

This book is a much expanded edition of Sloinnte na h Éireann/ Irish Surnames which was published in 1997, hence the new name. It is based on a survey of all the surnames appearing in the telephone directories of the whole island in 2000, giving their frequency, location and origins.

Part I is written in Irish: it deals with indigenous Gaelic names and those foreign names which were gaelicised in the medieval period and later. It is intended to help Irish people to appreciate the remarkable cultural roots which our name system enshrines.

Part II incorporates the above-mentioned survey and is written in English to provide a wider readership with an account of all the surnames now in use in the country, giving notes on derivation and background as appropriate.

There are original maps of early territorial divisions, tribal areas and the location of the more prominent septs together with a county map for easy location of surname territories.

Portraits of the great surname scholars, Rev. Patrick Woulfe and Dr. Edward Mac Lysaght, are by Limerick artist, Frank Bouchier.There are appendicies on notable minorities.

All enquiries to ÁIS, Book Distributors, 31 Fenian St., Dublin 2. Tel. 01- 6616522,

Fax: 6612378. e-mail: moriordain@forasnagaeilge.ie

Or to Seán de Bhulbh, Lime Tree, Sth. Circular Rd., Limerick.

Tel. 061-228411; from abroad: +353-61-228411.

Gaeilge ar an dtaobh eile

Welcome, and explore the site. on this page you'll find...

Who are we?

Where did our Woulfe/Wolfe ancestors live in Ireland.

Our Woulfe/Wolfe family history


I need your help


How to use this project

Explore our Woulfe/Wolfe families and our history

Woulfe/Wolfe information resources

Woulfes/Wolfes by region


Who are we?

We are found all over Ireland - and the World. We are descended from several Norman or Anglo-Saxon or maybe even Viking ancestors who arrived in Ireland at different times in history.

Our name first appears in Irish records in the 1100's as Ulf, a viking or Saxon name. A short time later, other Woulfe ancestors named Le Lou later appear. It's likely these Norman Le Lous accompanied the invader Strongbow as knights or soldiers, but they appear to be early employees of the Geraldine Earls of Limerick and Kildare. English Wolfes arrived later in Cork and Kildare.

Our ancestors have played important roles throughout Irish history. In the centuries since, we have spread all over the planet. We are most numerous in the US, but we have many cousins in Australia, New Zealand, Africa, England, Canada, and Germany!

Where did our ancestors live in Ireland?

Our earliest Woulfes are found in many places throughout the island. A large number of us in the U.S. are descended from early Woulfes in County Limerick. But, early records show Ulfs and Le Lous in Dublin, Wexford, Clare, Kilkenny, Louth, Down, Tipperary, and Waterford.

One of these wonderful places is Athea in Western County Limerick.

A HUGE number of Woulfes came from right around this little village in Limerick pictured below. It's a delightful place called Athea. That yellow building on the left corner used to belong to a Woulfe family. Athea has a special place in my research, because two of my major contributors, Sean deBhulbh and John Woulfe are descended from Athea Woulfes.


Ours is a fascinating history, with twists and turns and many unanswered questions, and some legends. The majority of the hard historical evidence in this project was done by professional Geneaologist Paul MacCotter in County Cork. The family trees in this project are from many Woulfes and Woulfe relations, some of whom worked on them for decades.

There will be many unanswered questions, because some family histories were lost, others are incomplete, and others relied on unverified information. But, all versions are included. Click on the dot below, and discover.

This section covers our earliest Woulfe/Wolfe arrivals in County Limerick.



Welcome to the Woulfe Family homepage. My name is Michael Woulfe from Boca Raton, Florida, USA. (It's a few miles south of Palm Beach) The page is here to help Woulfes all over the world find out more about our wonderful family and our history. I don't presume to be an "official" spokesman or an expert. The idea is to maintain a site that all of us can learn from, contribute to, and find other Woulfes who can maybe help you find out more about your background. All dates given on this site are in the American style - month/day/year unless otherwise specified.

I need your help.

I need your updated information.

I have been remiss in falling so far behind, and much of the contact information I have for you is outaded, and many links are long dead... Please email me....


Here's how it works...

Read down this front page and check out all the links to other pages with tons of information, history, and links to other Woulfes.

See if any of the names or faces connect to your ancestors. We've helped a lot of people this way

This project is laid out like a book with chapters. If you were to print it, it would be more than 120 pages long. I know it's a lot to read, but it contains the fruit of decades of work by Woulfe family researchers.

I can be of any help, please e-mail me with as much background as you can find, and I'll try to steer you in the right direction.

Make sure you tell me to post your information on the site!!!

With your info posted, other Woulfes can seek you out and maybe give you a hand. But again, I try to protect people's privacy, and won't post your information unless you specifically tell me to do it. There have been some hurt feelings because I didn't post some folks background, but I wasn't ignoring them. Once they contacted me and let me know that's what they wanted - it was done. I won't take it upon myself to hang their life history out here in public without permission....mw


Explore the rest of the Woulfe Family Homepage Site

This really is the proper Coat of Arms for many Woulfe descendants. It was first registered by a Limerick City Woulfe in the 1400's. It is actually the coat of arms for the branch of Woulfes who descended from the original Limerick City and Eastern County Limerick Ulfs.

I made this one with no text on the page so you can print it - maybe even frame it if you want. Try printing it on photographic paper for ink-jet copiers - it'll turn out very slick.


Woulfes/Wolfes by region

This next section breaks down the different Woulfe/Wolfe family groups by county and by specific towns and townlands.

They are listed alphabetically.

My Woulfe cousins still live near the town of Ardagh in County Limerick. My great grandfather Michael Woulfe and his 8 children came to the US in the 1920's..

Above: The original family farmhouse in Ireland, built in the 1700's, still stands, and still belongs to my cousins. I've also got some pictures and family lore. Read it, get inspired, and send me your Woulfe story.

Paul MacCotters research on the origins and History of the Woulfes of TierMaclaine and County Clare.

Carol Taggart of Canada has done extensive research on her branch of the family that emigrated from Co. Cork in the 1840's. They were true pioneers. This section includes Paul MacCotters History of the County Cork Woulfes

By John Woulfe

John Woulfe has spent more than 20 years studying the history of his Woulfes ancestors in Crioch near Athea.

I consider John my mentor in this project. It was his help right from the beginning that spurred the growth of this project. I finally got to meet my good cousin in Australia in 2000. John is really into history. He founded a re-enactment society in Australia. Here's John at a recent ceremony honoring the history of the Victoria police and their gun battle with Ned Kelly.

Paul MacCotter's research on the Woulfes of Dublin and County Wexford

Paul MacCotter's history of the 2 branches of the Woulfe/Wolfe family in County Kildare

I have grouped these together in one section because of the small numbers of Woulfes in these counties and limited information available.

Peter Woulfe of Canberra, Australia traces his ancestors back to Knocknagorna, County Limerick

Richard Woulfe is looking for more information on his Woulfes from Meenoline, Templeglantine, County Limerick. He's provided me with information going back to the 1840's. He has a GREAT family history. A real success story.

The Story of the Woulfe family in Limerick, and where else our name shows up in history.

This is the primary source inside this project on our Woulfe origins and history.

Woulfe Heroes

Is he one of us? The debate rages. ...well, maybe not rages, exactly. But, take a look at the different points of view.

Our ties to Hugh Lupus, Earl of Chester are a matter of debate within the Woulfe family. See the debate here.

Another Wolfe/Woulfe whose family origins are debated.

Woulfe information resources

Lots of Woulfes browsing the internet check this page every now and then, and some of them might be able to help you. Send me your question and I'll post it here. And - if you have lots of family background, check ou these questions, maybe you can help them


With Pictures! Meet me, Richard Woulfe of Wisconsin, John Woulfe from Australia, Michael Woulfe of the U.K., Peter Woulfe of Australia, and others. Please do a little boasting and send some pictures along, and I'll include you too!

Woulfe and Irish genealogy books, Websites and Homepages.

This contains the incredible list of documents and books Paul MacCotter used in his Woulfe/Wolf research

Documents I can e-mail you. There's Paul MacCotter's complete work, a family tree from Ramy Brouder in Limerick and a map of Athea. I've also added the O'Neill data put together by my cousin Maureen O'Neill Jenkins. Also - an extensive family tree by Jim Mcauliffe.

Feel free to e-mail or even call or write me. I love hearing from other Woulfes. There are also e-mail addresses of other Woulfes who may be able to help you with your search - or you may be able to answer some of their questions. Make sure you specifically request that I post your e-mail address. I won't do it unless you ask, or if I e-mail you back to ask if it's okay.


We may share a genetic defect that can cost us our sight.

I have word that a genetic condition known as Low Pressure Glaucoma runs in some branches of our family. Next time you get those eyes checked, insist that the doc examine you for symptoms. The popular so-called "puff test" will NOT do the job. It may cost you an extra 50 bucks or so for the more involved test. But - it's worth it to save your sight. mw

Why did I do this..???

Because I love doing it. It's my gift to all the Woulfes looking for information on their ancestors.

There is no more chilling experience to stand in the same spot our ancestors have occupied for more than 800 years and realize we go even further back than that in history.

Sadly, myself and 2 cousins are the last of the Dunganville line of Woulfes who came to the U.S. in the 1920's. None of us has any children to pass this information on to. So - it's a gift to you and your children and their children.

But - I'm not taking credit for anything here other than the information on my immediate family. All the incredible research and family trees in this project are the hard work of many others. My goal is to bring as much of it together in one place as I can.

I got a late start on finding my family roots. Until I got my computer in 1997, I had no idea how many other Woulfes there are all over the world. I also had no idea about our background other than what I'd been told by my grandfather when I was very young.

Everything I have gathered here is yours for free. You may print and bind it and save it for reference for your future generations.

I will continue to build and refine the Woulfe Family Homepage, so check back and see the progress. I'm 49 now, and plan to keep at it for many years - but maybe right now, you're showing this to one of your children, and they'll be the one to pick up the project after me.

Sincerely, your cousin,

Michael Leo Woulfe (or in Irish, Micheal deBhulbh)