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Norman, born 1800, was the son of Samuel Paterson and Rachel Campbell of Borve. Norman married Ann MacLeod, also of Borve. Together they were to have nine children. In 1830 Norman was paying annual rent of £4.10s, and in the 1841 census his farm covered an area of 10 acres. It is likely that his home was at the site known as Tobhta Thormoid ‘ic Shomhairle.
Norman was a religious man and was to play a leading role in the establishment of the Free Church in Berneray. The book Òrain Chaluim describes Norman’s dissatisfaction with the minister of the Established Church on the island:
'Rev John Bethune .. unworthy of his calling, ascended the pulpit in an intoxicated condition and delivered extraordinary sermons. It came as no surprise, when Norman Paterson .. rose in the middle of a sermon and shouted: "Murder, murder, on the souls of men." There was an uproar, and nearly the whole of the congregation left for the Free Church.'
Norman was to be an Elder of the Free Church for 42 years.
In 1854, with the clearance of the crofts for Borve Farm, Norman and his family were moved to Meavaig South, where his young friend Malcolm MacAskill, the subject of Òrain Chaluim, visited him in 1861. Later the family moved to 18 Strond.