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Rachel was born in about 1840, the daughter of Neil MacAskill and his wife Marion MacAskill. She spent her childhood in old Ruisgarry, moving with her parents to the croft at 4 Ruisgarry (Tarraloch), which her father obtained in 1850. She was a domestic servant before her marriage to Angus MacDonald in 1868. They had a daughter Christina and made their home in Ardslave. Rachel died in 1871.