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John born in 1892, was the son of Finlay MacKinnon and Mary MacLeod of Quay. In 1900 his father, who had been grieve on Borve Farm, obtained one of the new crofts in Borve, croft 1, to which the family moved. John attended Berneray School between 1898 and 1910, after which he worked on his father’s croft. He lived at Ferry for a while.
John married Marion MacDonald from Kyles Scalpay, with whom he was to have three children. The family lived at 10/2 Kyles Scalpay.