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Marion was born in about 1854, the daughter of Catherine Paterson of 328 North Boisdale, South Uist and mason John Ferguson. She moved to Berneray with her mother to 16 Ruisgarry during the 1860s, working as an agricultural labourer for her stepfather Duncan MacLeod.
In 1871 Marion married Neil MacLeod of 21/22 Ruisgarry (Ben Leva) which is where they made their home. Together they were to have eleven children. Marion later worked as a weaveress.