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Roderick MacKillop, born in 1836, was the son of Donald MacKillop and Ann Ferguson of old Ruisgarry then 10 Ruisgarry (Gunhill). In 1854 his widowed mother was removed from the croft, becoming a cottar in Quay. The house passed to Roderick following his mother's death in 1863.
Roderick became a fisherman, marrying ferryman's daughter Rachel MacAskill in 1872. She was to die in childbed the following year, shortly after the birth of their only child, who became known by her mother's name.
In 1874 he married Margaret MacLean from Claddach Kirkibost, with whom he was to have seven children.
At the time of the 1911 census he was head of the household at Quay, living with his son Donald and family.