James Douglas Ogilby was born at Belfast, Ireland, on 16th February, 1853, and died, after a long illness, in Brisbane, Queensland, on 11th August, 1925.
He was the son of William I. Ogilby, F.Z.S., the well-known zoologist; his mother was a Douglas of the Earl of Morton’s family. He was educated at Winchester College and Trinity College, Dublin. He had been a good athlete and had won many medals, chiefly for running. Several of his notes on mammals, birds, and fishes appeared in the “Zoologist” from 1874 to 1876. In 1883, he published an excellent catalogue of birds obtained by him in Texas, U.S.A., He was for some time employed at the British Museum and later, in 1885, became assistant in zoology at the Australian Museum. Here he wrote many papers on Australian fishes, some in conjunction with Dr. E. P. Ramsay. His Catalogue of Australian Mammals (1892) is still regarded as a very valuable piece of work. Ogilby’s wife, an Irish lady, died in Sydney in 1894. There was no issue.
For some years he was Honorary Curator to the Museum of the Amateur Fishermen’s Association of Queensland, by the members of which he is held in grateful remembrance. He was later appointed ichthyologist to the Queensland Museum, and wrote many fine papers on Queensland fishes.
Ogilby was for some years a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London. He was a respected friend of the late Allan R. McCulloch, and the two were regular correspondents. Professor David Starr Jordan knew Ogilby well and admired his work, which, “like that of McCulloch was of a very high order.” The Amateur Fishermen’s Association of Queensland has perpetuated his memory by erecting the “J. Douglas Ogilby Cottage” for the use of its members on Bribie Island, a popular fishing resort in Queensland.
(The above sketch of Ogilby’s life has been drawn from information for which I am indebted to Mr. E. R. Waite, F.L.S., Director of the South Australian Museum, Mr. H. A. Longman, F.L.S., Director of the Queensland Museum, and Mr. Thomas Welsby of Brisbane. Obituary notices appeared in the Brisbane papers and in the Australian Museum Magazine, Vol. ii, No. 8, 1925, p. 267.
In compiling the following bibliography, I have received assistance from the librarians of the Royal Society of New South Wales, the Public Library of New South Wales, and the Australian Museum, Sydney.)