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John, born 1800 was the son of Neil MacLeod of Pabbay. John married Catherine, surname unknown, with whom he was to have eleven children. By 1851 the family was living in Borve, Berneray, where John farmed a croft of 12 acres. In 1854, with the clearance of crofts to make way for Borve Farm, the family became cottars, emigrating to Australia on the Royal Albert in 1855.