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Norman MacAskill was born in 1844, the youngest son of Chelsea pensioner Donald MacAskill and Effie MacKinnon of Sheabie. Following his father’s death, Norman’s widowed mother moved to Pol an Oir with her sons.
Norman became a fisherman and in 1870, married weaver Marion MacMillan of Ferry. Together they were to have three children, moving to a newly built house at Ferry during the 1880s. By then Norman was working as a ferryman, carrying the island’s post.
In 1900 he was allotted 23 Borve, to which the family moved. His wife died in 1914 and Norman remarried three years later, on 2nd January 1917, to Betsy MacDonald of Ardmaree.