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Donald, born 1798, was the son of Neil MacAskill and Mary MacRailt of Borve and Ruisgarry. In 1830 he was joint tenant with his father of a croft in Ruisgarry, paying annual rent of £6 5s. With his wife Rachel, whose maiden surname is unknown, he had four children before her death in about 1845. At about the same time, when the many small crofts in Ruisgarry were re-organised into larger plots, the family emigrated to Baddeck Forks, Cape Breton.
Donald’s second wife was Mary MacLeod, with whom he had two sons.