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Alexander, born about 1780, was the son of Norman Paterson. Alexander had eight children, and appears to have been married at least twice. His daughter Catherine, born 1818, was the daughter of Margaret Shaw. Alexander's four younger children were born to Margaret MacKillop.
Alexander was a crofter in Borve, where he is listed in the tenancy rolls for 1818 and 1830. In 1818 he paid £5.10s annual rent, rising to £8.0 by 1830. The site of his home was later known as Tobhta Alasdair 'ic Thormoid.