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Catherine was born in 1844, the daughter of blacksmith Neil MacAskill and his wife Ann MacKillop of Borve. Her father died when Catherine was about 9 years of age and the family moved to ‘house 1’ Rubha Mor where they lived as cottars.
Catherine became a weaveress and had two children, Ann and Neil. There is no record of her living on Berneray after 1901, so it is possible that she moved to Kentulavig, where her daughter Ann lived following her marriage.