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The Real Annie Moore

Annie Moore statue at Ellis IslandHistorians sometimes scoff at genealogists, as the latter group is sometimes considered “unprofessional.” But, historians often don’t take family history seriously and I’ve known historians who cannot read a census record. Thus, mistakes can happen when history is written, and sometimes it takes a genealogist to reveal the truth.

Such an incident happened when the history of Annie Moore was recorded. Annie Moore, a young Irish woman, was the first person to set foot on Ellis Island. A few months ago a genealogist named Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak [sic] discovered some anomalies with this history and sponsored a contest to find the “real� Annie Moore. And, in September, she announced that they had uncovered Ms. Moore’s identity and had successfully identified her descendants.

Now, a plaque contained on the Annie Moore statue at Ellis Island and a similar plaque located in Cobh, Ireland, where she and her brothers began their voyage, need to be changed. Additionally, memorials located in Texas and online venues need to alter their histories, as the information contained on these memorials and documents are incorrect.

The incorrect history began when a woman recounted a family history told to her by her mother. The mother had stated erroneously that Annie Moore was her mother. From there the story blossomed to a trek into Texas, where the descendants made their home. The real Annie Moore actually remained in New York, although her descendants have branched out across the U.S.

For more information about this story, visit the following links:

Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak’s Contest Link

RootsWeb TV 5-part Video about the problems and solutions involved in the “real” Annie Moore resolution (If it’s been bumped from the home page by the time you read this, click on the Homeland tab and you’ll find it there.)

Ellis Island Online Memorial to Annie Moore

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