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Donald Paterson was born in 1893, the child of Allan Paterson and Marion MacKay, cottars on croft 8 Ruisgarry (Baile). He attended Berneray School between 1898 and 1907.
In 1900 the family moved to 14 Borve, but his mother was to die in childbirth later that year. When his father Allan died less than two years later, it was Donald's paternal grandfather Norman who took over the croft, with Donald working as a farm labourer. Aunt Jessie Mary Paterson cared for the house and children.
On the death of his grandfather in 1913, Donald was passed 14 Borve, where he died in 1965, having never married. The croft passed to his younger brother Archie.