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Annie Moore

Annie Moore: First Immigrant Through Ellis Island

When Ellis Island officially opened on January 1, 1892, the first passenger processed through the now world-famous immigration station was an Irish girl named Annie Moore.


The 17-year-old girl was traveling with her two younger brothers, Anthony and Phillip, on the S.S. Nevada. The ship had departed from Queenstown (County Cork, Ireland) on December 20, 1891, carrying 148 steerage passengers. The trio would spend 12 days at sea, including Christmas Day, arriving in New York on Thursday evening, December 31. With Annie leading the way, they were processed through Ellis Island the following morning, New Year's Day. All three Moore children were soon reunited with their parents who were already living in New York City.

Annie Moore's arrival record can be found in the Historical section of our Famous Passengers page.

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Annie's Life After Ellis Island

For years people believed a saga that had Annie moving to Texas and eventually New Mexico before meeting a tragic end. However, it was later discovered that the real Annie never left New York, which was published on the front page of The New York Times on September 14, 2006.

Late in 1895, she went to St. James Church and there married Joseph Augustus Schayer, a young German-American who worked at the Fulton Fish Market. She gave birth to at least 10 children before dying of heart failure at age 50 in 1924. Her grave in Calvary Cemetery in Queens is marked with a Celtic cross made of limestone imported from Ireland. She spent her entire life on New York’s Lower East Side (one address was 99 Cherry Street).

Today Annie Moore is honored by two statues sculpted by Jeanne Rhynhart — one at Cobh Heritage Centre (formerly Queenstown), her port of departure, and the other at Ellis Island, her port of arrival. Her image will forever represent the millions who passed through Ellis Island in pursuit of the American dream.


Press Coverage of the Legendary Annie Moore

January 1, 1892: Colonel Gave Annie Ten Dollars

January 2, 1892: Landed On Ellis Island: New Immigration Buildings Opened Yesterday 

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