The purpose of our blog is to discuss topical issues, stories, and situations, as well as to share what we are up to and new ways for you to get involved. We are always searching for possible answers to the question: Why is a girl's worth culturally and historically relative?

Friday, November 16, 2012

Annie Moore: Ellis Island’s first immigrant

Annie Moore's 1892 Passenger Arrival List

On November 12th in 1954, Ellis Island in New York was officially closed as an immigration inspection station. Since it had opened  in 1892, more than 12 million immigrants had passed through into the United States of America. The first of these many immigrants to pass through Ellis Island was a 15-year-old girl, Annie Moore

Annie Moore was traveling with her two younger brothers from Cork, Ireland to meet their parents in New York. They had ridden in steerage class on the steamship Nevada for twelve days before arriving on January 1, 1892.  

For years it was thought that Annie Moore lived out the rest of her American dream by going west to Texas, where she married and lived until she was accidentally killed by a stagecoach at age 46. As the New York Times reported in 2006, professional genealogist Megan Smolenyak discovered through extensive research that the famous Ellis Island Annie Moore actually stayed in New York. Further research also indicates that Annie Moore was already 17 when she landed at Ellis Island. Annie lived the typically rough life of an immigrant on the Lower East Side at that time. She married and had eleven children.

Today, the many living descendants of the original Ellis Island Annie Moore have an ancestry that includes other immigrants from all over the world, and Annie herself is depicted in statues on Ellis Island and in Ireland. Whatever her exact age or where she lived, Annie Moore was a girl who still serves as a powerful symbol of the millions of brave immigrants willing to risk the journey to America for a new life. 

-Emily Holm
Junior Girl
Girl Museum Inc.

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