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Roderick, born in 1868, was the eldest child of Donald MacLeod and Christina Shaw of Backhill. Roderick became a soldier, serving in the Boer War.
In 1900 his father obtained the croft at 5 Borve, and the house in Backhill was passed to Roderick. He worked as a grieve, later a fisherman, marrying Effie Campbell of Sandhill in 1903. Together they were to have five children.