My Grandmother on my Mother's side came from Scotland when she was 12 years old. It really is quite a dramatic story that deserves it's own article, but I'll share the short version with you.
Her Dad came to the United States to find a home and get a business established before bringing his family over to the United States. By bringing, I don't mean that he went home and got them, and flew them back here with him, flight wasn't what it is today at that time. When all was ready, he would pay for passage for his wife and children, including my grandmother, to come from Scotland by ship.
A sad thing happened while he was here in the United States and my grandmother was back in Scotland with her mother, brother and two sisters. The youngest sister who was about 4 got leukemia. I have letters written back and forth between Great Grandma and Great Grandpa. I sat and cried as I read through them. It described her illness, how Great Grandpa wanted to get home to see her but that would not happen and she would pass away.
Imagine being the a mother of 4, losing your youngest while your husband was not home, then having to pack up the family and board a ship to America within a short time after. Such was the strength of my ancestors, and that is how my Grandmother got here when she was 12 years old. She came through Ellis Island like so many did to this part of the eastern United States.
This image is one of my Grandfather and Grandmother. He took care of her for many years as she had a stroke when she was in her 60's. She lived to be 90, and he, 97.