Since you refer to the 1880 census, I assume that you are in the USA as census years in Canada are in the first year of the decade (1881). This must make it tricky for you to seek information. Beginning with the information you gave, I built a family grouping then searched other records to see what comes up. These include mostly census records and various databases (vital records, newspaper abstracts, etc.) at the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick web site. This gives:
ALEXANDER (ALEX) McFARLAND b. NB 19JAN1813 (ca. 1813-4), m. Dorchester Parish, Westmorland Co., NB 16OCT1844 MARY JANE STEEVES (b. 22APR1815 (ca. 1819-23), d. Dawson Settlement, Albert Co., NB 12JUN1895 (ca. 1886-9)).
The Steeves’ (Stief’s) are well known in NB and relatively active throughout Canada. Much has been written about them so it may be possible to identify Mary Jane’s parents.
In 1851, in Dorchester Parish, Westmorland Co., NB, there were 45 McFarlan’s and 11 McFarlin’s these included the families listed sequentially:
McFarlan Alexander M Head 34 English Farmer Born
McFarlan Mary F Wife 39 English Born
McFarlan Mary F Daughter 4 English Born
McFarlan Elizabeth F Daughter 2 English Born
McFarlan James M Son 1 English Born
McFarlan Margaret F Widow 60 English Born
McFarlan Ralph M Son 30 English Born
McFarlan Thomas M Head 25 English Farmer Born
McFarlan Abigail F Wife 29 English Born
McFarlan Mary F Daughter 1 English Born
McFarlin Alexander M Head 37 English Farmer Born
McFarlin Mary F Wife 28 English Born
McFarlin Mary F Daughter 4 English Born
McFarlin Olive F Daughter 2 English Born
McFarlin John M Son 1 English Born
McFarlin Jane F Sister 35 English Born
McFarlan James M Head 33 English Farmer Born
McFarlan Caroline F Wife 28 English Born
McFarlan Robert M Son 5 English Born
McFarlan Abeona F Daughter 3 English Born
McFarlan William M Son 1 English Born
McFarlan Joseph M Head 30 English Carpenter Born
McFarlan Amelia F Wife 27 English Born
McFarlan Margaret F Daughter 3 English Born
McFarlan Amanda F Daughter 1 English Born
McFarlan William M Head 45 English Farmer Born
McFarlan Rebecca F Wife 44 English Born
McFarlan Margaret F Daughter 16 English Born
McFarlan Rosanna F Daughter 14 English Born
McFarlan Ralph M Son 10 English Born
McFarlan Mary F Daughter 5 English Born
McFarlan Rebecca F Daughter 1 English Born
Two households after these were:
McFarlan Charles M Head 46 English Farmer Born
McFarlan Mary F Wife 44 English Born
McFarlan James M Son 24 English Farmer Born
McFarlan Catherine F Daughter 22 English Born
McFarlan Robert M Son 20 English Farmer Born
McFarlan Milledge M Son 16 English Born
McFarlan Margaret F Daughter 7 English Born
McFarlan Rachel F Daughter 4 English Born
McFarlan Alexander M Son 2 English Born
Note that Charles (b. ca. 1805) was ‘English’ as was Alexander, suggesting that they were brothers. Both were given as born in NB, suggesting a large family that had been in NB for some decades, from England rather than from Scotland. One might suppose that the heads-of-household, etc. were siblings, children of the widow, Margaret (b. ca. 1791) except that there are two Alexander’s one b. ca. 1817 and one b. ca. 1814. The names of the children give the 2nd of these as the one you named. Inferring that the two Alexander’s were cousins, this suggests at least two brothers in the previous generation. So it is uncertain as to whether Margaret was Alexander’s mother, but it seems probable. We do know, at least, that Alexander had a sister, Jane McFarland b. ca. 1816. It also seems that Alexander was a third generation. This is incorrect according to an entry in the New Brunswick Genealogical Society work, “First Families”:
MACFARLANE: Robert MacFarlane born c1767 in Aberdeen?, Scotland, died 23 Feb 1851: he came to NB and settled at Dover in Dorchester Parish, Westmorland County: m. (1st) Rachel Steeves b. - , died c1801, d/o Jacob Steeves and Catherine Lutz: m. (2nd) Rosanna Lutz b. c1777 at Dover, died c1811, d/o Peter Lutz and Mary Ricker: m. (3rd) on 23 Jun 1812 Margaret Beatty b. c1789 at Dover, NB:
Children of first wife:
1) John MacFarlane born 8 Jan 1796, died 11 Mar 1896, m. (1st) 1822 Sarah O’Neil b. c1799, d. 20 Feb 1832, m. (2nd) Rosanna - born c1800, died 9 Jun 1872, widow of Mr. Edgett:
2) Jacob MacFarlane b. 30 Dec 1798, d. 23 Jul 1845, m. 14 Oct 1828 Maria Dernier b. 12 Aug 1806:
3) Charles MacFarlane b. 17 May 1801, d. 1888, m. 9 Feb 1826 Mary Ann Easter born 1803, d. 1889:
Children of second wife:
4) Rachel MacFarlane born 2 May 1803, d. 17 Jan 1876, married 9 Oct 1826 Stephen Rogers born 30 Apr 1801, died 15 Aug 1891: settled in Hillsborough, Albert County and had nine children:
5) Michael MacFarlane b. 22 Jun 1806, d. 1880, married 24 Mar 1831 Anna or Hannah Rogers b. c1813, d. 1893:
6) Peter MacFarlane born 12 Mar 1808, died 23 Dec 1846, m. 26 Sep 1839, m. Rosanna Gaskin born 23 Sep 1820 at Coverdale, NB, died 9 Apr 1902 d/o William Gaskin (aka William Dixon) of Canterbury, England and Coverdale, NB: settled at Lewis Mountain, Salisbury Parish, Westmorland County and had children:
7) William MacFarlane b. 23 Dec 1810, married Mar 1835 Rebecca Tarris born c1807:
8) Robert MacFarlane b. 24 Dec 1811, d. 7 Nov 1876, married 29 Oct 1835 Margaret Steeves b. 22 Apr 1815, d. 1895:
Children of third wife:
9) Alexander MacFarlane born 19 Jan 1813, d. 11 Feb 1881, m. 16 Oct 1844 Mary Steeves b. - , d. age 66:
10) Jane MacFarlane b. 22 Mar 1814:
11) Margaret MacFarlane born 10 Apr 1816, m. 7 Feb 1834 John O’Neill:
12) James MacFarlane b. 2 Dec 1818, m. Feb 1844 Caroline Lewis b. 1823:
13) Ralph MacFarlane born 16 Jan 1820, died 1904, married Mary Fagan:
14) Joseph MacFarlane born 15 Apr 1822, died 5 Jun 1862, m. 7 Oct 1847 Annabelle Kenny b. c1828, d. 11 Aug 1891:
15) Nancy MacFarlane born 7 Jul 1824, d. 20 Jul 1890, married 8 Dec 1846 Ichabod Lewis born c1825 at Moncton, died 1881, s/o Abraham Lewis and Mary Taylor: settled at Lewis Mountain and had issue:
16) Thomas Douglas MacFarlane b. 19 Jan 1826, d. 21 Dec 1888, m. 7 Aug 1849 Almira Lewis b. 1829, d. 28 Sep 1888.
Sources: MC80/1397 Daniel F. Johnson’s New Brunswick lineages, pages 3, 177-178: see MC80/1790 Ken Kanner’s Early families revisited, page 181: see also MC618 Moncton genealogies collection, MS13 Stephen Rodgers and Rachel McFarlane Rodgers and family, 1 page.
This tells us that Alexander was the son of Robert and Margaret (Beatty) McFarlane. The Lutz’ (Lutes) by the way are closely connected to the Stief’s and have a similar history. Also, it is still not clear why there are two, contemporary Alexander’s living very near each other. It is not unusual for persons to be enumerated twice in the same census and, if one assumes that the daughters, Mary (both b. 1847), that Elizabeth (ca. 1849) and Olive E. (ca. 1849) and the son James (ca. 1850, apparently John ca. 1850 in the other family as he is James A. in later returns) are the same children, then Alexander's family may well have moved during the enumeration or been listed twice for another reason.
Nearby, in 1851, was a blacksmith, William ‘Beaty’ (b. ca 1815), possibly Alexander’s cousin.
Robert McFarlan petitioned for land in Westmorland Co., in 1815 with:
James ‘Beaty’ headed the petition and may well have been Robert’s father-in-law. He was granted 500-acres in Dorchester Parish, Westmorland Co., NB 27DEC1836. This is a large grant indicative of a large family. a cadastral plan shows Robert McFarlane was granted 529-acres on th Petitcodiac River at Dover, Dorchester Parish, Westmorland Co. This was Lot 3. Just upriver Lot 4 was subdivided between John Beattie (200-acres) and (on 4E) J. A. and A. McFarlane (127-acres). Jacob McFarlane had the next Lots 5 & 6 (300 acres) were John and Jacob McFarlane. McFarlane Creek runs through the latter. This is roughly 4-5 miles below Moncton. There were several other McFarlane grants in the area. The Lutz’ and Stief’s had multiple grants across the Petitcodiac (‘Petee – coe – diac’).
A genealogical web site deals with the ‘Macfarlane’ family, especially at:https://www.clanmacfarlanegenealogy.info/genealogy/TNGWebsit...
Note that this site has accessed some of the PANB data as they have the same, incorrect, birth-place for Amanda.
In 1861, in the area of Albert Mines, Hillsborough Parish, Albert Co., NB, was the family of Alexander (47) and Mary (40) McFarlane including James (10), Robert (8), Jane (5), Agnes (3) and Amanda (9 months). James appears to be the John in 1851. Alexander was a Methodist while Mary and the children were Baptists. All were b. in NB.
In Hillsborough Parish in 1871, Alexdr (58) and Jane M. (52) McFarlane had Olive E. (22), Jas. A. (20), Robert W. (18), Jane A. (15), Agnes A. (13), Amanda (10) and Harriett (6). Was Harriet the Ronnie in 1881 or is she the missing, 9th child? Next door were Joseph (36) and Mary S. (24) ‘Richie’ with a daughter, Alberta (1).
I do not find Mary Jane with any certainty in 1891. There was a Mary Jane ‘McFarlin’ b. NB ca. 1823, wife of Armour ‘McFarlin’ (b. Ireland ca. 1811) in Harvey Parish, Albert Co., NB in 1891 but this seems to be a different Mary Jane. This also suggests that the date-of-death (12JUN1895) given above may be incorrect; possibly also the date-of-birth. These may have been taken from a headstone. One site says that Mary Jane was age 66-years when she died suggesting that she died ca. 1885-1889 and would not be in the 1891 census.
1. MARY McFARLAND b. ca. 1847-8, m. JOSEPH RITCHIE (b. ca. 1835).
11. ALBERT RITCHIE b. ca. 1870.
2. OLIVE E. McFARLAND b. ca. 1849.
In 1861, in the Albert Mines area of Hillsborough Parish, Albert Co., NB, Olive McFarlane (12) was a ‘servant’ to James (62) and Susannah (61) ‘Steves’, and possibly was related to them.
3. JAMES A. (JOHN) McFARLIN b. ca. 1850-1.
4. ROBERT W. McFARLAND b. ca. 1851-3.
Possibly the family in 1901 in Dorchester Parish, Westmorland Co., NB:
McFarlane Robert M Head M Nov 27 1852 48
McFarlane Louise F Wife M Jan 17 1862 39
McFarlane Oscar M Son S Apr 19 1884 16
McFarlane Flora M. F Daughter S Aug 26 1890 10
McFarlane Percy M. M Son S Feb 27 1893 8
McFarlane Oliver B M Son S Aug 4 1895 5
McFarlane Stella F F Daughter S Jun 7 1898 2
with, next door:
Beatty John W M Head S Dec 30 1855 45
Beatty Rossanah F Sister S Jan 11 1859 42
Beatty Jane F Sister S Jul 28 1867 33
Beatty Martha F Sister S Nov 6 1869 31
I can’t be sure that it is the same Robert.
5. JANE ANNIE McFARLAND b. ca. 1856.
6. AGNES A. McFARLAND b. ca. 1858.
7. AMANDA McFARLAND b. Dover, Dorchester Parish, Westmorland Co., NB 18NOV1859 (ca. 1861-2), m. RICHARD SIMPSON (b. ca. 1847-8), s/o Robert and Lydia Simpson.
Amanda’s birth was registered in 1932 and an image is at:https://archives.gnb.ca/Search/VISSE/141A1b.aspx?culture=en-...
The abstract has her born at Edgett’s Landing but, according to the record, that was her residence in 1932, and she was born in Dover, Dorchester Parish, Westmorland Co., NB. Edgett’s landing is in Hillsborough Parish, Albert Co., NB. Apparently she was the last of 9-children.
71. ADELBERT B. SIMPSON b. Albert Mines, Albert Co., NB 8FEB1872.
8. RONNIE McFARLAND b. ca. 1865.
This is about as much as I can do in a short time as the name in its many variations becomes relatively widespread. For example, in the 1865 directory in Albert Co. there were:
McFarlan, Belford Cape Enrage Little Rocher Albert Farmer
McFarlane, Abraham Dawson Settlement Albert Farmer
McFarlane, Armer New Ireland Albert Farmer
McFarlane, Robert Dawson Settlement Albert Farmer
McFarlin, Alexander Edgett’s Landing Albert Laborer
with the last possibly being your Alexander. Meanwhile, in Westmorland Co., there were:
McFarlan, James Baie Verte Westmorland Farmer
McFarlane, Arthur Dover Westmorland Farmer
McFarlane, Belford Dover Westmorland Farmer
McFarlane, Bent Dover Westmorland Mariner
McFarlane, Charles Dover Westmorland Farmer
McFarlane, James Lutz (Or Lutes) Mountain Westmorland Farmer
McFarlane, John Dover Westmorland Farmer
McFarlane, John Moncton Westmorland Joiner
McFarlane, John A. Dover Westmorland Farmer
McFarlane, Michael Moncton Westmorland Farmer
McFarlane, Ralph Dover Westmorland Farmer
McFarlane, T. - Dover Westmorland Farmer
Mcfarlane, Thomas North River Westmorland Farmer
McFarlane, William Dover Westmorland Farmer
The Dover entries are likely members of the same family but I doubt if all were necessarily related.