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Murdo Macleod was born in 1811 at Habost, Lochs, in the district of Pairc. He moved, with his parents, to Leurbost in 1817 where he later became one of the leading laymen in the religious life of Lewis, being ordained as an elder when the Free Church was formed in 1843. In 1849 he was appointed Catechist for the district of Lochs, a position he held until his death in 1898.
As Catechist he would have toured the villages preaching and teaching as he went. Much of the preaching was held out of doors and he used a conch shell to call the people to prayer. He was presented with a silver-topped walking stick by the Free Church Jubilee Assembly in recognition of his long and devoted service.
He married Ann Morrison from 2 Gravir and they had a large family, including a son, also Murdo (1837-1914), who composed many Gaelic songs and poems, among them the well-known Eilean An Fraoich.