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Mary, born 1818, was the daughter of John MacKay and Mary MacDonald, who crofted in Borve, Berneray. Mary married John MacLeod of Siabaidh. Together they were to have a family of at least nine children. They lived in Borve, probably at the site later known as Tobhta Iain 'ic Ailein.
In 1854, with the clearance of crofts to make way for Borve Farm, the family was moved to 2 Lickisto, Harris.