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Roderick MacLennan was born in 1885, the second son of that name born to Donald John MacLennan and Catherine Munro of 29 Scalpay. By 1889 the family had moved to Rubha Mor on the island of Berneray. Roderick became a farm labourer, and was employed by Jessie Paterson (née MacGillivray) on 8 Ruisgarry (Baile).
In 1905 he married Jessie MacKenzie, a few months before she inherited the croft from her cousin. Tragically he drowned only a year later leaving no children. He was a crewman on the Daisy, which was overwhelmed in a gale, with the loss of all four crew.