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Margaret Martin was born about 1805. She is believed to have come from either Sollas or Caolas Bheàrnaraigh on North Uist. She married John MacKinnon of old Ruisgarry, where the couple made their home. Together they had five children.
Margaret may have been widowed by June 1841 - her husband does not appear in the census for that year, and Margaret herself is described as a farmer. She later became a cottar on 2 Ruisgarry (Sandhill), close to the home of her daughter Marion. However, in 1854 Margaret was removed to become a cottar on Newton Farm, North Uist.