Dr. James M. Douglas was born in Aughnacloy, Tyrone, Ireland in 1816. He studied medicine at universities in Edinburgh and Glasgow. He received his medical licence, M.R.C.S. in Edinburgh in 1841. Dr. Douglas practiced medicine for 8 years in Glasgow, Scotland, before moving to New York, U.S.A. in about 1849.
Dr. Douglas lived and worked there for 7 years, before moving to Chatham in 1856. According to the 1867 Medical Register, Dr. Douglas received his Provincial Licence in 1857. Dr. Douglas appears in the 1861 Canadian Census in Chatham, living with his wife Frances “Fannie”. According to that census, Dr. Douglas was listed as being 45 years of age and Mrs. Douglas appeared as 40 years of age. That same census recorded that Mrs. Douglas had been born in Ireland.
Dr. Douglas advertised his practice in the 1861-62 Great Western Railway Directory and Gazetteer under Chatham.
In October of 1864 he was known to be practicing medicine in Morpeth, Ontario. It is not known how long he was in Morpeth, but according to the 1864-1865 Kent County Directory and Gazetteer Dr. Douglas had moved back to Chatham and he had an office on King Street. He was listed as a coroner in Kent County in the 1866-1867 Kent, Lambton and Essex County Directory and Gazetteer.
Dr. Douglas died on the 8th of June, 1869. He was buried at Maple Leaf Cemetery in Chatham. Mrs. Douglas died on the 4th of January, 1884 and she was also buried at Maple Leaf Cemetery, next to her husband.