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Murdo, born about 1801, was the son of Norman MacCuish and Flora MacLeod of Drimophuind, Northton and Strond, Harris, then old Borve, Berneray. He married Christina MacCusbic from Ruisgarry, and they made their home in old Borve, where Murdo was farmer of 12 acres in 1851, with his brother Finlay’s family living on the same land. His young niece Flora lived with the family, working on the farm.
However, in 1854 the Borve tenants were cleared from their land in order to make way for Borve Farm. Murdo and his wife became cottars in a newly built house in Backhill, with Finlay as his neighbour.