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Margaret, known as Maggie, was born in North Uist in 1853, probably at Ardennish. She was the daughter of Alexander MacMillan and Isabella MacLeod, who moved to Berneray in about 1855, to live in a newly built house at ‘house 77’ Ferry.
Maggie became a domestic servant and in 1895 married neighbour Donald MacAskill of ‘house 74’ Ferry. They occupied half the building, shared with his older brother and wife. Together Donald and Maggie had just one child, Donald, who passed away at the age of two weeks. Maggie was widowed in 1914.
Her young neighbour, Donald MacKillop, recalled Maggie in an article he wrote for the Stornoway Gazette in 2002:
The double house .. was occupied by two widows, Maggie née MacMillan, and Anna, née MacLeod. They both had hen houses and were always quarrelling about the hens. [Anna] and her neighbour .. married brothers... Donald was the ferryman for years, and when necessary his wife, Maggie, operated the ferry on her own. Only brute strength and knowledge of the tides were necessary.
Port Magaidh was the name given to a small bay close to her home.