“Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears”

I have always loved History.  I was listening to my wonderful Irish Tenors CD today and I heard the song, “Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears.”  This is a song about immigrants from other countries coming into America through Ellis Island from 1892-1943.  The first immigrant to cross the threshold of Ellis Island was Annie Moore of Ireland on January l, 1892. The song sung by the Irish Tenors is about Annie Moore.  Photo below – Ellis Island and a second photo of immigrants entering Ellis Island.

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You truly have to research things posted on the internet to get the true facts.  Several articles had Annie’s age wrong, they had her married to the wrong man and living in other U.S. states.  All false information.  Here is the true story of Annie’s life.

Annie Moore was born April 24,1874 in Ireland.   Annie arrived in American from County Cork, Ireland after a 12 day boat trip on the steamship Nevada, which carried a total of 148 passengers. She was 17 years old and traveled with her brothers – Anthony who was 15 years old and her brother Phillip who was 12. They joined their parents Matthew and Julie Moore who came to New York City in 1888.  Annie received a $10 gold piece as the first immigrant to pass through Ellis Island. The picture below is Annie and her brothers when they arrived on Ellis Island.


In 1895 Annie married Joseph Augustus Schayer (German immigrant) at St. James Church.  Her new husband worked at Manhattan’s Fulton Fish Market.  Annie gave birth to 10 children. She spent her entire life in New York’s Lower East Side. Annie died of heart failure December 6, 1924 in New York at the age of 50 years. Annie’s grave is in the Calvary Cemetery in Queens.  Her grave (photo below) is marked with a celtic cross made of limestone imported from Ireland (This marker was not placed on her grave until October 11, 2008).  Two statues of Annie were made by sculptor Jeanne Rhynhart.  One sits at Cobh, Ireland Heritage Center (once Queenstown) which was her port of departure from Ireland.  The other statue sits on Ellis Island. Ellis Island was abandoned by the Immigration and Naturalization Service in 1954. The government tried to sell Ellis Island for years without success.  In 1965 President Lyndon B. Johnson granted landmark status to Ellis Island and it became the property of the National Park Service.  In 1990 Ellis Island opened to the public as an Immigration Museum.


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9 thoughts on ““Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears”

  1. Millions of people went through Ellis Island. They gave them physicals and everything when they entered the U.S. Ellis Island is not far from the Statue of Liberty. Would be interesting to read about those that immigrated to America.

  2. Nice research! What hard lives they had and, yet, they didn’t realize it. Makes me appreciate what they did for our country and the lives we live today.

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