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The local story is that Norman was a son of John and Catherine nee Macleod. He may have been born in Gravesend, as his siblings were, but he settled in Stornoway where he was a lay-preacher. His maternal uncle John was going to leave him the croft at 3 Tobson but he promised it to Neil Macdonald if he would care for his uncle and aunt in their old age
However there is no record in the Stornoway Census of a Norman Colby, but Edward is enumerated as a Tract Seller. It seems likely that the name Tormod was the closest to Edward in Gaelic.