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Finlay, born about 1813, was the son of farmer Norman MacCuish and Flora MacLeod of Harris, and later of Borve. He married Betsy MacAulay, also of Borve, with whom he was to have nine children.
In 1851 he and his family were registered living on his brother Murdo’s croft in old Borve, but the family were soon removed from their home, due to the formation of Borve Farm. Both Murdo and Finlay made their homes in newly built cottars’ houses in Backhill.