72909: John Morrison MacAskill

John, known as Johnnie, born in  Fife in 1868, was the only son of Kenneth MacAskill and Mary Davidson, cottars on 9 Ruisgarry (Gunhill). His mother died sometime before 1881, when Johnnie was lodging with his father’s aunt Catherine and her husband on 9 Ruisgarry itself.

Johnnie became a yachtsman, marrying Effie MacLeod in 1894, with whom he was to have a family of six children. Their first home was as cottars on 17 Ruisgarry (Brusda) before returning to 9 Ruisgarry (Gunhill). The family later lived at Rhuvanish.

He was also a lobster fisherman – the searock Bodha Sheonaidh Choinnich was named for him.

Johnnie owned the Watchful, poetically re-named in Iain Archie MacAskill’s poem, Oran Dha’n “Fhaiceal”, published in the book An Ribheid Chiuil. The editor, historian Alick Morrison elaborated:

What a perfect buccaneer John Morrison MacAskill would have made! There were fully six feet of him in stout thigh boots; the nose was long, the leathery features were adorned with a menacing black beard. He had spent most of his life at sea. The salt waves, storms and sunshine had beaten his face the colour of wine… He defied anyone to have seen more marvellous places and things than he had. In more reposed mood, with bright eye twinkling, he discoursed delightfully of the wisdom of animals, not forgetting the lowly lobsters and crabs.


Record Type:
Also Known As:
Johnnie MacAskill
Date Of Birth:
Date of Death:
26 Jan 1945
Brothers Keeper Reference:
CEBH 327
Fisherman; Seaman
Record Maintained by: