Thursday, March 17, 2011

Isle of Tears

LAST year at this time....I posted this article.
Due to my very complicated and crazy life especially this week....huge St. Patrick's Day party last Sunday..(photos and update to come)
Dr.'s visit and a Biopsy yesterday..drama, drama, drama. (Isn't it always something??)
I'm going to repost it again this year.......

Because I liked it.
And I think you will too!
And because I'm too exhausted to write anything new at this very moment.
But I will before the week is out.
I think.

This is wordy......but you will be informed and blessed.
Please read on.

Statue of Annie Moore at Ellis Island Museum
I had wanted to write something funny for St. Patrick's Day but after learning about someone named "Annie Moore".....I knew I had to share her story with all of you.

On day two of my recuperation from gall bladder surgery I laid on the couch and watched PBS a good bit of the day. They were showing a lot of "Irish" themed shows.

That evening my husband and I were watching "Celtic Women." 
On the opening of one song they started this with haunting, sad, song with a lone "Ulian" piper.

Ulian pipes sound like that alone makes you want to just cry because you can just feel the emotions of the instrument.
Then the Celtic Women started to sing this song about when Ellis Island opened it's doors and the very first immigrant to pass through Ellis Island, was a young girl of just 15 years named
"Annie Moore."

Then I BAWLED my head off.
("Pass the PROZAC please AND the kleenex!")

I was horribly distressed by this song. And I don't know why it effected me so hard. All I can think of is this:I've traveled to Ireland...I've seen the rocky shores of that wonderfully, beautiful land.
I know the tragic history of what the people suffered, and why so many left their homeland never to return.
And in contrast to that...
I have stood on Ellis Island and looked out over harbor that separates that tiny "first stop" that all immigrants had to stop at before setting their feet onto the shores of America.

It too is a beautiful site and very emotional.

I walked that island myself with my husband and our daughter a year and a half ago.
This place where my own Great Grandfather was processed and passed through when he came to America from Germany.
Now after learning this story of this girl, Annie. I could only imagine how over whelming this all must be to this girl of whom they were singing about. Especially if she were only 15 years old as the song said, and especially after she had just crossed the entire Atlantic Ocean.And I wondered to myself..."Were they just making up this song or is it about a real person??"

So being the "researcher" that I am. I looked up this fabled young girl, and I found her amazing story.

Yet, I was dismayed that I had been to New York twice and had never heard this story until now.

(Ariel, Joyce, & Don)

Back in the year 1892 a young lady named Annie Moore, after a long steam ship journey from Cork, Ireland arrived and was the very first person to be processed through Ellis Island.
Remarkably, it was also her "15th" birthday.
She had left Ireland as a 14 year old...landing 12 days later, traveling over Christmas Day even...arriving on her birthday.

She was given a "$10.00 gold piece" for being the first person to come through the brand new immigration center that is facing New York's harbor.
Annie had arrived with her younger brothers Philip and Anthony.
"Statue of Annie and her little brothers in their port of departure...County Cork, Ireland"

Their parents and an older brother had come over to America in 1888, and were living in Manhattan.
After traveling over the Atlantic for 12 days in a very crowded section of the S.S. Nevada. These three siblings had finally arrived to be reunited with their parents and brother.

It was New Years Day...1892 when they unloaded and came ashore. Annie's birthday, and Annie's first day in America.

After Annie's arrival, 700 more people came after her that very same day.

All in all...
Over 17 million immigrants were processed through Ellis Island in the years that it was open from 1892 to 1943.

It now serves as a museum.
And trust can feel the odd "sadness" on the island. We could.

Also Ellis Island is NOT on the same island which the Statue of Liberty is on, as most of us all have wrongly presumed....that is "Liberty Island" and the ships would pass the statue and take immigrants to Ellis Island.
Which is across the way on a totally different island.
Both tiny island's face New York City. I didn't realize any of this until I went there and saw it myself.

Back to our Annie, she eventually married a German immigrant and they had a modest life including raising a family of 11 CHILDREN.

Annie died in 1924 and she is buried in Queens.

In 2008 a marker was put onto her grave, which had been previously unmarked.
Fittingly the new headstone was an Irish "High Cross."

Now that you know the story of Annie Moore. Please do go to this Youtube site and view the song

"May you always have
Walls for the winds
A roof for the rain
Tea beside the fire
Laughter to cheer you
Those you love near you
And all your heart might desire."


Duchess of Tea said...

Hello Joyce darling thanks so much for visiting my cottage and for the kind comment you left behind, much appreciated. I am delighted that our blogs crossed, now I have a lovely world to visit on daily basis.

Love & Hugs
Your newest follower

Karen June Miller said...

This made me very emotional, Joyce! This is the hope of America! This is why I love the country so much. I began to weep. And, it helps that I have a great deal of Irish in me!

Hugs, KJ

Tea said...

What a story! Thank you for this wonderful post and Happy St. Patrick's Day my friend!

By the by, my maiden name is Moore.

Southern Touch Catering said...

This is a lovely tribute. We have a printed copy of registration when my husband's grand fathers crossed over on Ellis Island. One was from Ireland, the other from Russia.
Thanks for the sweet story. Hope you're recovery is going well.

Julie said...

Hi, Joyce,

I had never heard of Annie Moore. Thanks so much for sharing her story. I don't know much about my Irish ancestors John and Bridget Cody but I bet they passed through Ellis Island. My grandma, her two sisters and her brother were all teenagers when they left Norway after their parents died. They came through Canada's "Ellis Island", whatever that is.

Thanks for the postcard - I thought nothing of it being a St. Patrick's Day postcard LOL! Sorry I ragged on St. P. I will be sure to read "How the Irish Saved Civilization".

sister sheri said...

That was so interesting! Love history... and how you tell the story!

Ms.Daisy said...

Amazing woman and equally amazing is her story! Thanks for sharing this with us...and I had no idea that Ellis Island was not on the same island as the Statue of Liberty!

P.S. I hope you are now fully recovered from your surgery!

Marilyn said...

Happy St. Patrick's Day to you. I hope the results of the biopsy are good.