National Park Mystery Photo 15 Revealed: Annie Moore Was First at Ellis Island

Annie Moore was the first immigrant processed through Ellis Island. National Park System photo.

That wisp of a smile belonged to Annie Moore, the first immigrant processed at Ellis island, which is now the Ellis Island National Monument component of Statue of Liberty National Monument.

An Irish lass, Annie was just 15 when she and two brothers arrived on Ellis Island on January 1, 1892, to gain entry to the United States. She proved to be something of a mystery in her own day. For many decades it was believed that she had gone west with her family, settled in Texas, married a descendant of the Irish liberator Daniel O’Connell, and then died in a streetcar accident.

But now we know that the real Annie Moore lived out her life only a few miles away on New York’s Lower East Side. She married a bakery clerk, had 11 children, and had a pretty hard life. In true American fashion, however, her descendants multiplied and many of them prospered. A bronze statue of Annie Moore was dedicated at Ellis Island in 1993.