Annie Moore was born in County Cork, Ireland in 1877. Her parents, Philip and Julia Moore, had nine children and decided to leave Ireland for a better life in America. In December 1891, the Moore family boarded the S.S. Nevada in Queenstown, Ireland, and arrived in New York City on New Year’s Day 1892.
When the family arrived at Ellis Island, Annie was the first to be processed. She was given a medical examination and then sent to the main hall where she was asked a series of questions. After answering the questions, she was officially admitted to the United States. As a reward for being the first immigrant to be processed, Annie was given a $10 gold coin.
Annie and her family eventually settled in New York City’s Lower East Side. She married Joseph Augustus Schayer in 1902 and had eleven children. She died in 1924 at the age of 47.
Annie Moore’s story is an important part of American history. She symbolizes the millions of immigrants who have come to the United States in search of a better life. Her story is also a reminder of the importance of Ellis Island in the history of immigration in the United States. As the inscription on the Statue of Liberty reads, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” Annie Moore was the first of those huddled masses.