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Roderick was born in 1878, the son of Malcom MacLeod and Mary Munro, cottars on 21/22 Ruisgarry (Ben Leva). His father was well respected in the community, having been elected by the people of Berneray to give evidence on their behalf at the Napier Commission in 1883. Some years later, in 1900, the islanders achieved their wish, and Malcolm was one of those granted a croft in Borve - croft 9, to which the family moved.
In 1908 he married Mary MacAskill of Quay, with whom he was to have five children. In 1908 he married Mary MacAskill of 11/12 Ruisgarry (Quay), with whom he was to have five children. Roderick worked as a yachtsman and later a fisherman. They lived at 11/12 Ruisgarry for a few years, moving to 9 Backhill by the time their fourth child Malcolm was born in 1916. Later the family moved to 9 Borve, which passed to Roderick following his father's death in 1925. Roderick himself died just one year later.