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Donald, known as Dòmhnall Ruadh, born about 1797, was the son of Donald MacCusbic and Christina MacAskill of old Borve. He married Effie MacLeod (possibly MacDonald) with whom he was to have at least four children. Donald became a farmer in old Borve, paying £3.15 rental for his tenancy in 1830. The 1851 census shows him with a farm of 12 acres. The ruins of his home, Tobhta Dhòmhnaill Ruaidh, are mentioned in Place Names of Berneray.
However, in 1854 the tenants in Borve were cleared from their land in order to make way for Borve Farm. Donald and his family, with his younger brother Malcolm, chose to emigrate to Australia with the help of the Highlands and Islands Emigration Society, leaving Plymouth on the Royal Albert on 15th August 1855.