Annie Moore (immigrant)

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Anna Moore
Annie Moore.png
Contemporary illustration of Annie Moore
Born(1874-04-24)April 24, 1874
DiedDecember 6, 1924(1924-12-06) (aged 50)[1][2]

Anna "Annie" Moore (April 24, 1874 – December 6, 1924) was an Irish immigrant 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 steamship called 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 be processed 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(11) 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 kids and five survive'd to adult hood, and three of them had kids.

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, and Tommy Fleming.
  • Annie Moore is honored by two statues sculpted by Jeanne Rhynhart. 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’s known as a matching algorithm to allocate refugees with no ties to the host country to their new homes.[9]



  1. ^ a b Annie Moore's gravestone
  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. ^ a b c Roberts, Sam (September 14, 2006). "Story of the First Through Ellis Island Is Rewritten". The New York Times.
  4. ^ Genealogist Megan Smolenyak report on Annie Moore story
  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.
  7. ^ Celtic Woman performing The New Ground - Isle Of Hope, Isle Of Tears on YouTube
  8. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. ^

External links[edit]