Annie Moore (immigrant)

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Anna Moore
Contemporary illustration of Annie Moore
Anna "Annie" Moore

(1874-04-24)April 24, 1874
DiedDecember 6, 1924(1924-12-06) (aged 50)[1][2]
Resting placeCalvary Cemetery, Queens
Other namesAnnie
Known forFirst Immigrant to pass through Ellis Island

Anna "Annie" Moore (April 24, 1874 – 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. Bronze statues of Moore, created by Irish sculptor Jeanne Rynhart, are located at Cobh in Ireland and Ellis Island.[3]


Moore arrived at Ellis Island from County Cork, Ireland, aboard the Guion Line steamship Nevada on January 1, 1892. Her brothers, Anthony and Philip, who journeyed with her, had just turned 15 and 12, respectively.[2][4] 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.[4]


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 about eleven children. She died of heart failure on December 6, 1924, at age 50[1] and is buried in Calvary Cemetery, Queens. Her previously unmarked grave was identified in August 2006.[5] On October 11, 2008, a dedication ceremony was held at Calvary which celebrated the unveiling of a marker for her grave,[6] 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.[7]

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.[4][8]


Annie Moore is honored by two statues sculpted by Jeanne Rynhart. One stands near 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.[9][10]

Annie Moore's life also inspired the song "Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears", which was written by Brendan Graham after visiting Ellis Island.[11][12] The song has been performed by Ronan Tynan,[13] The Irish Tenors, Sean Keane, Dolores Keane, Daniel O'Donnell, Celtic Thunder, Celtic Woman,[14] Tommy Fleming and The High Kings.[citation needed]

Things named in honour of Moore include the Annie Moore Award, presented annually by the Irish American Cultural Institute,[15] a utility vessel operated for the National Park Service,[16] and a software program developed at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts, Lund University in Sweden, and the University of Oxford in Britain which uses a "matching algorithm" to allocate refugees with no ties to the host country to their new homes.[17]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "English: Grave marker for Annie Moore at Calvary Cemetery, Queens, N.Y." Nov 23, 2008. Retrieved July 19, 2020 – via Wikimedia Commons.
  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.
  3. ^ Klein, Christopher (December 28, 2016). "Remembering Annie Moore, Ellis Island's First Immigrant". A&E Television Networks. Retrieved April 16, 2022.
  4. ^ a b c Roberts, Sam (September 14, 2006). "Story of the First Through Ellis Island Is Rewritten". The New York Times.
  5. ^ O'Hanlon, Ray (February 28, 2007). "Putting things right". The Irish Echo. Archived from the original on 2 March 2007.
  6. ^ Kennedy, Lucy (October 13, 2008). "Ellis Island's first immigrant honoured". Irish Times. Retrieved April 16, 2022.
  7. ^ Roche, Barry (March 18, 2016). "Generation saga: Relatives of Annie Moore traced". Irish Times. Retrieved April 16, 2022. she had eleven children but five of them died before the age of three – all from different causes
  8. ^ Smolenyak, Megan. "Wrong Annie Moore Photo Album". Retrieved July 19, 2020.
  9. ^ "The Statue of Liberty — Ellis Island Foundation". Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island. Retrieved July 19, 2020.
  10. ^ Roberts, Sam (September 17, 2006). "Annie rewrites an American dream". Scotland on Sunday. Archived from the original on February 2, 2013.
  11. ^ Brendan Graham, Annie Moore and 'Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears', archived from the original on 2021-12-18, retrieved 2021-09-10
  12. ^ "Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears". Star Of The Sea: A Postcolonial/postmodern Voyage Into The Irish Famine. University of Southern California. Retrieved April 16, 2022.
  13. ^ Memorial dedication ceremony for Annie Moore. Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears sung by Ronan Tynan. 3.25 minutes in. Archived from the original on 2021-12-18. Retrieved July 19, 2020 – via
  14. ^ Celtic Woman performing The New Ground - Isle Of Hope, Isle Of Tears on YouTube
  15. ^ "Annie Moore". Irish American Cultural Institute.
  16. ^ "U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Takes Delivery of USNPS "ANNIE MOORE" to Serve Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty". 2021-06-28. Retrieved 2024-01-31.
  17. ^ Calamur, Krishnadev (April 26, 2019). "How Technology Could Revolutionize Refugee Resettlement". The Atlantic. Retrieved July 19, 2020.

External links[edit]