Only one family lived there in the 18th century, but deserted the island because of severere winter storms. The island has been uninhabited for 2 centuries now.
Staffa had several owners and eventually was gifted by an American owner Jock Elliot Jr. of New York in 1986 to the National Trust for Scotland.
The interesting faxct is that in 1800 there were three Red Deer on the island, later replaced by goats and then a small herd of black cattle. Subsequently the summer grazing was used for sheep by crofters from Iona but in 1997 all livestock was removed. This has led to a regeneration of the island's vegetation.