Ellis Island was an immigrant inspection station located in New York Harbor. At this facility immigrants from other nations would enter the United States and be checked for suitability and health. After they were processed at the facility they would either be approved and allowed to enter the U.S. or be rejected and sent back to the country they came from. It was the most important immigration facility in the country and processed millions of immigrants when it was in operation. The immigration facility operated from 1892 until it was closed in November 1954. let’s find out who was the first to pass through Ellis Island.
Who was the first immigrant at Ellis Island?
The first immigrant to arrive at Ellis Island was Annie Moore who arrived from Ireland on January 1, 1892 aboard the ship Nevada. She came to New York with her brothers Philip and Anthony to join her parents who had arrived in the U.S. a year earlier. It was long thought that she arrived on her 15th birthday, but Irish researchers think she had probably already turned 17 when she arrived. She was awarded a $10 gold piece (eagle) for being the first person processed by the facility, which was more money than she had ever seen in her life!
Did you know?
Moore married a German immigrant and had at least 11 children. She died in 1924 of heart failure.
Statues of Annie Moore can be found at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum and in the Irish seaport of Cobh where she left Ireland.
Her unmarked grave was discovered in 2006 and in 2008 a dedication ceremony was held for her. Her grave is now marked with a celtic cross.
The “Annie Moore Award” is an annual award presented by the Irish American Cultural Institute.