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John was born in 1870, the son of Donald MacKillop and Margaret MacKillop of Baile. In 1900 his father was one of the men to receive a new croft in Borve, and the family moved to 12 Borve.
John worked as a yachtsman and in 1908 he married Ann MacKillop of 11 Borve. Together they were to have three children. John was passed the croft following his father’s death in 1919. Only two years later he passed away himself, and the tenancy passed to Ann.