While visiting Myrtle Beach my Aunt Florence treated us to the show "The Spirit of Ireland" at the Palace Theater:
It was a great show and I enjoyed it a lot but I was afraid that Jayden wouldn't enjoy the show much at all. When we were traveling back to New York I asked him what his favorite part of the trip was and of course he said, "The Knights show" (we had taken him to see Medieval Times). And when I asked him what his second favorite thing was, I thought he'd say either playing at the beach, or maybe the alligators he saw, or golfing with Ray, but to my surprise he said, "The Irish show"!
And just this week I was listening to the song "Isle of Hope" and he said to me, "Oh this song was in the Irish show that Aunt Florence took us too. It's really nice, right?"
The Celtic dancers and singers were wonderful. And, of course I got tears in my eyes when I heard "O Danny Boy" and "Isle of Hope" sung.
The Celtic singers from the show:
I always feel so emotional whenever I think of Ellis Island, and I think of all the immigrants that left their homes to come to our shores, and to make new homes and new lives here in a new land. And I feel so grateful that Ray and I both had a few brave relatives who decided to come to America!
I imagine that so many of them were happy and hopeful with dreams of starting new lives here.
And I imagine that many more of them were sad to leave their lives, and their homelands, and much of their family and many friends behind.
I wonder how many of them were wistful and longing for the home of their birth?
When I hear the song "Isle of Hope" I think not only of Annie Moore, and not only of the Irish immigrants, but about all immigrants who braved leaving the country of their birth, and who braved leaving their old lives behind to come to America.
Annie's story is just one of many immigrant stories.
From 1820 to 1920 more than four million people from Ireland came to America, and one of those Irish immigrants was Annie Moore. When Ellis Island officially opened on January 1, 1892, the first person registered was Annie.
She traveled from County Cork with her two younger brothers aboard the SS Nevada as a steerage class passenger. They spent over a week at sea including Christmas Day. They arrived in New York on December 31, and they were processed through Ellis Island the following morning, New Year's Day. Annie was presented with a $10 coin.
Annie and her brothers at Ellis Island:
The children were then reunited with their parents who had left Ireland to prepare their new life in America. Annie lived with her family at 32 Monroe Street in Manhattan for a few years before marrying Joseph Augustus Schayer in 1895.
The couple had eleven children, only five survived to adulthood. Annie went on to spend the rest of her days as one of the poor Irish immigrants on the lower East Side until she died in 1924 at the age of forty-seven.
Her body was in an unmarked grave in Queens Calvary Cemetery until donations were made in 2006 to purchase a tombstone for her:
There are two statues in honor of Annie, one in Ireland at her port of departure, and one at Ellis Island.
~ Isle of Hope ~
God Bless our immigrant ancestors and God Bless this wonderful melting pot we are privileged to call "Home"!