Born in County Cork, Ireland, on April 24, 1874, Annie Moore was the first immigrant to pass through Ellis Island when it opened on January 1, 1892. (Prior to that, immigrants entered through Castle Garden.) Between 1820 and 1920, over four million Irish men and women came to America through the Port of New York. Annie, along with her younger brothers Anthony and Philip, left Ireland on December 20, 1891. Their parents had already moved to Manhattan ahead of them. As the first person processed through Ellis Island, Annie received a ten dollar gold piece (worth over $200 in today’s economy). As an adult, Annie would marry Joseph Schayer, with whom she had eleven children. She died of heart failure on December 6, 1924, and was buried at Calvary Cemetery in Queens in an unmarked grave. The grave was identified in 2006, and a headstone was soon erected over the grave, a Celtic cross made of Irish blue limestone.
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