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Catherine, born about 1808, was the daughter of mason James Paterson and Mary MacLeod of Strond, Harris. She married Angus MacCuish, with whom she was to have at least nine children. They may have lived at Drimophuind, Northton and Strond, Harris for a while, but by 1830 were in old Borve, Berneray where Angus was a tenant farmer. However, in 1854 the tenants in Borve were cleared from their land in order to make way for Borve Farm.
The family became cottars in Backhill. Catherine’s husband died in 1865. By 1881 Catherine and the family were living in a recently built property, ‘house 4’ Backhill.