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Catherine MacLeod

Catherine MacLeod

Catherine MacLeod was born on Berneray in 1795, the daughter of crofter Donald MacLeod and Helen MacAskill. From the 1850s she was living as a cottar in a newly built house at Pol an Oir, together with young Mary Ann MacAskill who, although variously described as her daughter or niece, was probably her cousin (through Catherine's maternal grandfather).  By 1871 Catherine and Mary Ann were keeping a shop, and, more interestingly, distilling their own whisky.

Place Names of Berneray tells of a saying in Berneray concerning her:

'Catriona Bheag na cuibhle a'ridhleadh a'bharaille'; Wee Catherine of the spinning wheel is rolling the barrel.

This expression had some significance because Catherine and her daughter, Mairi Anna, were running a shebeen at their home.

The house and business at Pol an Oir passed to Mary Ann following Catherine’s death in 1877.


Title: Catherine MacLeod
Record Type: People
Gaelic Name: Caitrìona Dhòmhnaill
Also Known As: Catriona Bheag na cuibhle
Date of Birth: 1795
Date of Death: 20-08-1877
Occupation: Shopkeeper
Sex: Female
Bk Reference: CEBH 2789
Record Maintained By: CEBH
Subject Id: 105383