You are here
John MacLeod was born about 1829, the older son of that name born to Norman MacLeod and Ann Shaw of old Borve. His mother died when he was about six years old, and his father remarried, moving with the family to 'house 14' Quay.
He was well-remembered, as Donald MacKillop wrote in a letter to the Stornoway Gazette in 2002:
'Next to Big Giant MacAskill, [John] was the strongest man on the island - Big John MacLeod - brutally strong but very kind. He had excellent Gaelic and no English, yet his huge strength and natural ability gave him confidence that was lacking in ordinary mortals. He went to Canada to make his fortune, with (they tell me) all the necessary documents and instructions in his pocket, written in English. He arrived safely and after many adventures he returned to Berneray and married a local girl.'
It was in 1861 that John returned for his marriage to Ann MacAskill, with whom he was to have four children. John was passed 18 Ruisgarry (Brusda), though lost the croft not long afterwards, and the family moved instead to 'house 10' Quay. Living there, he became a merchant/grocer and later a fisherman. Ann died in childbed in 1874, and John remarried later that year. His second wife was Rachel Morrison. They were to have two daughters together, Ann and Marion.