Annie Moore (immigrant)

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Anna Moore
Annie Moore.png
Contemporary illustration of Annie Moore
Born(1877-04-24)April 24, 1877
DiedDecember 6, 1924(1924-12-06) (aged 47)[1][2]

Anna "Annie" Moore (April 24, 1877 – December 6, 1924) was an Irish émigré who was the first immigrant to the United States to pass through federal immigrant inspection at the Ellis Island station in New York Harbor.


Moore arrived from County Cork, Ireland aboard the Guion Line steamship Nevada in 1892. Her brothers, Anthony and Philip, who journeyed with her, had just turned 15 and 12, respectively.[2][3] As the first person to pass inspection at the newly opened facility, she was presented with an American $10 gold piece from an American official.[3]


Moore's parents, Matthew and Julia, had come to the United States in 1888 and were living at 32 Monroe Street in Manhattan. Annie married a son of German Catholic immigrants, Joseph Augustus Schayer (1876-1960), a salesman at Manhattan's Fulton Fish Market, with whom she had at least eleven children. She died of heart failure on December 6, 1924,[1] and is buried in Calvary Cemetery, Queens. Her previously unmarked grave was identified in August 2006. On October 11, 2008, a dedication ceremony was held at Calvary which celebrated the unveiling of a marker for her grave, a Celtic Cross made of Irish Blue Limestone. She had 11 children of whom five survived to adulthood, and three of them had children. The rest all died before the age of three.

Mistaken identity[edit]

A woman named "Annie Moore" who died near Fort Worth, Texas, in 1924 had long been thought to be the one whose arrival marked the beginning of Ellis Island. Further research, however, established that the Annie Moore in Texas was born in Illinois.[3][4]


  • The Irish American Cultural Institute presents an annual Annie Moore Award "to an individual who has made significant contributions to the Irish and/or Irish American community and legacy."[5]
  • Annie Moore's story is told in the song "Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears", written by Brendan Graham.[6] The song has been performed by Ronan Tynan and by The Irish Tenors, of which Tynan was formerly a member. Other artists performing the song include Sean Keane, Sean & Dolores Keane, Daniel O'Donnell, Celtic Thunder, Irish tenor Emmet Cahill, Celtic Woman,[7] Hayley Griffiths, Tommy Fleming and The High Kings.
  • Annie Moore is honored by two statues sculpted by Jeanne Rynhart. One stands at Cobh Heritage Centre (formerly Queenstown), her port of departure, and another at Ellis Island, her port of arrival. The image is meant to represent the millions who passed through Ellis Island in pursuit of the American dream.[8]
  • Annie is a software program named after Annie Moore. Developed at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts, Lund University in Sweden, and the University of Oxford in Britain, the software uses what is known as a matching algorithm to allocate refugees with no ties to the host country to their new homes.[9]



  1. ^ a b Wikipedia, The original uploader was Ronzoni at English (Nov 23, 2008). "English: Grave marker for Annie Moore at Calvary Cemetery, Queens, N.Y." Retrieved Jul 19, 2020 – via Wikimedia Commons. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ a b Smolenyak, Megan (December 31, 2013). "They Say It's Your Birthday -- But It's Not". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2013-12-31. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ a b c Roberts, Sam (September 14, 2006). "Story of the First Through Ellis Island Is Rewritten". The New York Times.
  4. ^ "Wrong Annie Moore Photo Album - by Author Megan Smolenyak". Retrieved Jul 19, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ Annie Moore at
  6. ^ "Memorial dedication ceremony for Annie Moore. Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears sung by Ronan Tynan toward the midpoint of the video". Retrieved Jul 19, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ Celtic Woman performing The New Ground - Isle Of Hope, Isle Of Tears on YouTube
  8. ^ "The Statue of Liberty — Ellis Island Foundation". Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island. Retrieved Jul 19, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ Calamur, Story by Krishnadev. "How Technology Could Revolutionize Refugee Resettlement". Retrieved Jul 19, 2020 – via The Atlantic. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External links[edit]

Media related to Annie Moore at Wikimedia Commons