74514: Neil MacKillop

Neil MacKillop, born in 1838, was the youngest child of Donald MacKillop and Ann Ferguson of old Ruisgarry then 10 Ruisgarry (Gunhill). Following his father’s death in 1853 the family moved to Quay, at ‘house 5’.

Neil married Marion MacLeod, with whom he was to have ten children. The family lived at ‘house 4’ Quay, next to his brother Roderick, who had inherited the parental home.

Neil was a lobster fisherman, owner of the boat An Sagart. His family collected their peats from Tahay, loading their boat at Bàgh Nèill. He also had two sea-rocks named for him and his boat – Bodha an t-Sagairt and Bodha Nèill.

His grandson Donald collected many of his tales. Many have been published; those of fishing trips in the book Sea Names of Berneray.

From The Place Names of Berneray:

There is a tale told on Berneray of the time he and his crew were cajoled into the home of Mary Ann MacAskill, with the offer of a cup of tea, as the day was rather cold. They, of course, would have been well aware that she and her aunt ran an illegal shebeen. Mary Ann, likewise, was fully aware that they ‘had the meagre proceeds of their toil in their pockets. When they finally left they had spent their last penny on illicit whisky. Old Neil’s parting words to Mary Anna were – “You – – – -? windbag, you did it once but you won’t do it again.”

In 1900, Neil obtained 11 Borve, becoming a farmer. The croft later passed to son John.


Record Type:
Date Of Birth:
Date of Death:
15 Jun 1928
Brothers Keeper Reference:
CEBH 650
Fisherman; Farmer
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