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John (1779-1884) was the son of Donald Macdonald and Mary Mackenzie. It is not certain where the family were living at the time of birth; his father was originally from Ness. There is no record of his father in Old South Tolsta Tack in 1820. However there is a record of a sub tenant called John Macdonald, but as he did not go on to obtain a croft in 1830 it seems unlikely it is the same John.
John married Christina Macleod of Old South Tolsta Tack. It is not known where they initially lived and had their first three children. Their first child was born in 1806.
Oral tradition recounts John surviving a drowning disaster off Garry Beach around 1821; John was renowned for his strength.
In 1830 John's parents obtained 27 Old South Tolsta and it appears likely that John settled there as a cottar. In due course John inherited 27 Old South Tolsta from his parents. The couple's fourth child, Ann, was born there in 1831.
In the 1851 croft relotting John obtained 10 North Tolsta.
John was widowed in 1870.