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Cloth and Clay
A Davison-Ferguson History
by Gail Ferguson


Cloth and Clay: a Davison-Ferguson History is the story of two immigrant families united by marriage in nineteenth century Ontario. Traced back to their earliest known origins in North East Scotland and in Yorkshire, England and County Donegal and County Cork in Ireland, the narrative probes the challenges they faced in their homeland, reveals why they made the decision to emigrate and illustrates how they became established in the pottery and tailoring trades. Cloth and Clay explores the local history of both Hamilton and London, Ontario as the story of the Davisons and Fergusons unfolds. It is a well researched investigation of two families within the broader immigrant experience in Canada


Gail Ferguson photo

Gail Ferguson lives in Toronto, Ontario with her husband, Joseph Romain. Gail has been fascinated by family history since she discovered, as a young child, a family photograph among the cufflinks and tire gauges in her father's top drawer. This find informed many of her choices in higher education. With a bachelor's degree in History from the University of Toronto and a graduate degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Western Ontario, Gail became a librarian in the Canadiana Department and the Special Collections Department of the Toronto Public Library where she assisted experienced professional researchers and beginner family and local historians in the use of specialized genealogical collections. Gail is a member of several genealogical societies including the Ontario Genealogical Society, the Aberdeen and North-East Scotland Family History Society and the City of York and District Family History Society. Having researched genealogical records in libraries, archives and in virtual collections for more than thirty years, Gail has traced various lines of her family back several generations and created a compelling narrative of their lives. Her first published work, The Abbotts: a Devonshire immigrant family in Canada, was published in 2019. It tells the story of an immigrant family from Devon who settled in South-Western Ontario. Years of research have allowed her to write Cloth and Clay: a family history, a compelling in-depth story of the union of two immigrant families as they adjust to life in Ontario.


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