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Marion MacKillop was born in 1880, the daughter of Alexander MacKillop and Annabella MacPherson of 5 Ruisgarry (Beasdaire). She became a housemaid, marrying yachtsman/fisherman John MacLean in 1904. They made their home in Quay with their six children. Marion worked as a wool spinner following her marriage, and won a prize for the design of her handspun tweed in 1938.