Murdo Crola

Crola from the Harris side

An account of the life of Murdo Macdonald, Crola, held by Bernera Historical Society (author unknown).

Although Murdo Macdonald was an Uigeach, born and bred, and of Uig parents, he was well known in Scarp and North Harris where many of his relations lived. His paternal grandmother was one of a well-known family of Macleans from Scarp while four of his father’s family (three sisters and a brother) married Scarpaich. These family connections caused him and his family to have constant intercourse between the two places.

Born on 13 January 1907 at Crola, Kinlochresort, son of Calum Macdonald and Catherine Maciver from Callanish, he was the youngest of the family. An older sister Kate, lived to an old age, while a brother Donald died in infancy. His father’s family originated from Skye and were said to be descended from the Macdonalds of Glencoe.

The Macdonald family were shepherds and were for some time employed at Bedersaig, North Harris. After one of the infamous clearances we find that John, Murdo’s grandfather, moved to Tealasvay in Uig, and afterwards to Crola, while his brother Donald moved to Luachair and afterwards to Cravadale as gamekeeper. The rest of the family left the district altogether.

From a very early age Murdo showed an exceptional ability for memorising anything he heard.