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Mary was born in about 1808, the daughter of Roderick MacAskill and Margaret MacLeod of old Ruisgarry. By 1851, Mary had moved to Lamerick, close to her widowed sister Betsy. Mary, who was deaf, remained unmarried, working as a hand loom weaver. Following her death in 1866, the house passed to Betsy's son Roderick MacKinnon.