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Donald, born 1791, was the son of Donald MacCusbic of Borve. By 1830 Donald had a croft in Ruisgarry, paying annual rental of £5.12.6. Donald was to marry twice, each time to a Mary MacLeod.
With his first wife, Donald had seven children. During the 1840s, with the re-organisation of Ruisgarry’s many small plots into larger ones, the family emigrated to West Bay Marshes, Cape Breton, where Mary died in 1845.
Donald married his second wife in Cape Breton. Together they were to have four more children.