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Catherine, known as Kate, was born in 1891, the eldest daughter of Angus MacDonald and Mary MacAskill. Kate was born at her maternal grandparents’ home at Ferry.
It is believed that the family made their home in Lochmaddy. However, Kate and her two siblings started school on Berneray in 1902, having previously been at Achmore, Lochs, and their mother is shown as living in Borve, presumably with her parents at 23 Borve, in the school admissions register. It is likely that they stayed in Borve until at least 1909, when Kate left Berneray School.