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Malcolm was born in 1880, 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 his father was one of those granted a croft in Borve - croft 9, to which the family moved.
Malcolm married Martha MacInnes from Iona, which is where they made their home with their five children.