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Alexander, born in 1847, was the eldest son of Norman Paterson and Catherine MacAskill of 9 Ruisgarry (Gunhill).
Alexander became a fisherman, then sailor. In January 1885 he married Christina MacAskill, and later that year was passed 9 Ruisgarry following the death of his father. Alexander became a boatbuilder and carpenter as well as a crofter. Following the death of his wife Christina in childbirth in 1888 he married for a second time - to Christina MacDonald. With her he was to have a family of eight children.
His uncle, bard Malcolm MacAskill wrote to Alexander's younger brother Roderick, recounting his success hunting cormorants one day in 1897:
'Alex took a new gun home this year. The first day he was out with it, [he] had 30 scarts....'
Apparently the other three men who went hunting the same day had a total of only six scarts between them!
On Alexander's death in 1913, 9 Ruisgarry was passed to son Norman.