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Roderick (born 1879) was the son of Murdo Mackay and Marya Iserhoff. He was born in Canada. His parents lived in Hudson Bay, Canada during their early marriage, but at some point the family settled, as cottars, at 50 North Tolsta, which was his paternal grandparents' croft.
Roderick served with the Royal Engineers during the First World War and may also have served in the Second Boer War (he is not with the family in the 1901 Census).
In 1918 he was wounded. His mother died this same year; his father went on to marry Catherine Macleod and settle in Stornoway.
Roderick married Christina Ann Maclean, of Guershader, Stornoway, and the couple settled in Newvalley.