"Childhood, it has been said, is a product of 20th century USA. Our ancestors, as young people, were expected to do chores, work jobs, and take care of themselves. One of my ggrandmothers came to the US alone, at age 11, after her mother died and her father remarried. She was marked as '8 and under' on the passenger list, probably a lower price for kids." Sally Bruckheimer
Sally misses the point. My own children were expected to work and do chores from age 2, appropriate to their ages, of course. It's one thing to expect children to work and quite another to send them thousands of miles away knowing they will never be seen again. In the nineteenth century, most extended families still lived near each other and depended on each other.
While I didn't mention it earlier, it's very obvious to me that my grandfather's behavior as an adult was shaped in part by this early separation from his family. It is not necessary to go into details.