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Rachel born in 1873, was the daughter of Roderick MacKillop and Rachel MacAskill of Quay. Originally named Margaret, her name was changed to that of her mother, who died in childbed. Her father remarried, and had a further seven children with his new wife.
Rachel became a domestic servant and was registered with the household of her uncle Donald MacAskill at Ferry in 1891. This is where her eldest child Christy was born a few years later. Rachel was to have a further four children with her husband Norman MacLeod, making their home in Quay until his death from tuberculosis in 1902. Rachel moved with the family to Backhill, where her youngest child Margaret was born in 1906. Rachel earned a living working as a wool spinner. She later moved to 6 Goular, North Uist with her new husband, widower John MacLean.