The Annie in question wasn't an orphan in the usual sense, but she is in a genealogical sense because her true story had been lost. Annie Moore was the first immigrant to land at Ellis Island and the first to be listed in the rolls when the Immigration Center opened. She arrived from Ireland with her brothers, Anthony and Phillip, on January 1, 1892. She was greeted with much fanfare and a $10 gold coin. It seems that she soon disappeared into America's melting pot. A bronze statue of Annie Moore has since been erected on Ellis Island for millions of visitors to see every year.
Megan Smolenyak has now announced that Annie Moore has been located. In fact, she never moved far from Ellis Island. She spent the rest of her life on Manhattan's Lower East Side. She married a German immigrant named Joseph Schayer, who worked at the Fulton Street Fish Market. The couple had 11 children though not all survived birth and early infancy.
Annie Moore died of heart failure in 1923 at the age of 47. In contrast to her fame and statue on Ellis Island, Annie Moore now lies alongside six of her children in an unmarked grave in Calvary Cemetery, Queens, just a few miles from Ellis Island. A fund to pay for a headstone in Calvary Cemetery has just been established.
You can read more about this fascinating story in Megan Smolenyak's blog at http://megansrootsworld.blogspot.com and in the Irish Echo Online at http://www.irishecho.com/newspaper/story.cfm?id=18112.
If only Annie could have seen this.