The Mugan Manscript

Shortly after publishing our website in August of 2015, The Sarnia Historical Society received numerous inquires from interested parties all over the globe.
One that stands out was an email from the Diocese of London.

Debra Majer reached out and invited us to visit their historical vault.  “I’ve been waiting for about a decade for these records to be made available” says Majer. “The Catholic history of Sarnia and Lambton County should not be viewed as a separate history to the area but one that is interwoven into the overall history. Historical records from the Diocesan Archives contribute to the overall social and built history of our counties and province. This opportunity to work with the society is exciting for the Diocesan Archives and we look for forward to a wonderful partnership!”

We visited in August.

During that visit, A book entitled “Historical Sketch of the Parish of Corunna (Mugan Manuscript)” was loaned to us.
Since then we have scanned every page and re-written the entire book for your reading enjoyment!

You can download the original, hand written book (pdf) for your own records.  Download it here (72 Megabytes)

You can view on our site and read the book in its entirety.  View and Read here.

In 1949, The Sarnia Observer composed a “The Sarnia Canadian Observer Century Edition” and in it was the below writing about the Mugan Manuscript.

One of the most valuable contributions to the history of Lambton County and indeed that of Western Ontario, has been resting since the turn of the century among the records of St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church in the village of Corunna.

On 28th of June, 1901 the Rev. James Mugan, parish Priest of St. Joseph and St. Charles in Courtright, completed and signed a manuscript of 27 closely written pages. The indefatigable patience of a scholar engaged in research is revealed on every page.

Credit for the discovery of the manuscripts value must be given to Isabella C. Finlayson of Mooretown, whose 20 years labour on behalf of the history of the Township has taken her into every nook and cranny of Moore’s antiquities. The courtesy of the Rev. A McHugh, present parish Priest at St. Joseph’s who himself was well aware of the importance of the find, enabled Miss. Finlayson to make use of what we here call the “Mugan Manuscript” for her own records.     

When the 1849- 1949 Centennial edition of the Sarnia Canadian Observer was in preparation, Miss Finlayson was kind enough to draw the writer’s attention to the existence of the Mugan paper.  Father McHugh was generous enough to permit copying of the manuscript verbatim for use in the present series of articles dealing with Lambton’s story. 

Since the Centennial series is not intended to be a history of the County but a sourcebook of that history, the Mugan Manuscript will appear in print in total.

Questions or comments? email: [email protected]