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Rachel was born in 1909, the daughter of Allan MacKillop and Marion MacKillop of Càrn House, Rhuvanish. She was a pupil at Berneray School between 1916 and 1923. In 1925 the family moved to 6 Lochportain.
Rachel married Donald MacLeod of Quay, settling on the mainland, later at Ardheisker on North Uist. As a widow, she lived in a newly built house at 2 Pol an Oir.
Rachel was a generous contributor to the School of Scottish Studies sound archive. The recordings are available on the Tobar an Dualchais website. A convenient way to access them is via her biography page.