Anna “Annie” Moore was the first immigrant to pass through Ellis Island to the United States. Moore arrived from County Cork, Ireland aboard the steamship Nevada on January 1, 1892. At the time it was reported that her arrival was on her 15th birthday but researchers in Ireland believe she had actually turned 17 months earlier. 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.
Moore was accompanied by her brothers Phillip and Anthony. Her parents, Matthew and Julia Moore, had come to the United States in 1888 and were living at 32 Monroe Street in Manhattan. She married German immigrant Joseph Augustus Schayer, an employee at Manhattan’s Fulton Fish Market, with whom she had at least eleven children. She died of heart failure on December 6, 1924 and is buried in Calvary Cemetery, Queens. Her previously unmarked grave was identified in September 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.
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
Moore is honored by bronze
statues at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum and in Cobh
, the Irish seaport from which she sailed. 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.” Moore’s story is told in the song “Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears”, written by Brendan Graham and Ronan Tynan. The song has been performed by Tynan and by The Irish Tenors, of which Tynan was formerly a member. Other artists performing the song include Irish tenor Brian Dunphy, Celtic Woman and Tommy Fleming.
WIKI and YouTube sources