The Truth about Annie Moore


Over the years the life of Annie Moore from Texas had been interwoven with the life of Annie Moore from Cork.

Annie, age 17, and her brothers Anthony and Philip, ages 15 and 12, respectively, moved into their  and her brothers moved into their parents’ tenement apartment at 32 Monroe Street in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The building was a five-story brick building, built at the turn of the century to house the influx of immigrants settling in New York City. We do not know what happened to Annie immediately after she got to her new home. There does not appear to be information on whether she was allowed to attend school or was forced to work to help support her family. Smolenyak writes that she “had the typical hardscrabble immigrant life,” adding “she sacrificed herself for future generations.” We know that Annie married a German-born bakery clerk (or the son of a bakery clerk) named Joseph Augustus Shayer. He spent his entire career employed as an engineer and salesman at the Fulton Fish Market. They had at least 10 children, five of whom survived to adulthood. A famous picture of the wrong Annie and her first baby hangs in the National Archives Library of Congress.  Annie was age 50 when she died of heart failure at 99 Cherry Street, in 1924. She lived and died within a few blocks on the Lower East Side. She is buried with six of her children (five infants and one who survived to 21) in Calvery Cemetery, Queens. In 2008 the Annie Moore Memorial Project raised the funds to place a Celtic cross headstone on her unmarked grave, lost to history for eight decades.

​First Through Ellis Island – Jan 1, 1892

Annie’s Ancestors who now reside in the Phoenix area have taken upon themselves with the aid of the Annie Moore Memorial Project to set Annie free with the truth about what happened to her after she was the first immigrant to pass through Ellis Island.