Joseph Ellison Portlock

Geologist from United Kingdom

Major-General Joseph Ellison Portlock (30 September 1794 — 14 February 1864) was born at Gosport and was a British geologist and soldier, the only son of Nathaniel Portlock, and a captain in the Royal Navy. Educated at the Royal Military Academy, Portlock entered the Royal Engineers in 1813. In 1814, he took part in the frontier operations in Canada. In 1824, he was selected by Lieut-colonel (afterwards Major-General) T.F. Colby (1784-1852) to take part in Ordnance Survey of Ireland. He was engaged for several years in the trigonometrical branch and subsequently compiled information on the physical aspects, geology, and economic products of Ireland, including the Memoir for which he wrote substantial sections on productive economy. In 1837, he formed at Belfast a geological and statistical office, a museum for geological and zoological specimens, and a laboratory for the examination of soils. The work was then carried on by Portlock as the geological branch of the Ordnance Survey, and the chief results were embodied in his Report on the Geology of the County of Londonderry and of parts of Tyrone and Fermanagh (1843), an elaborate and well-illustrated volume in which he was assisted  ( Wikipedia article )


Personal facts

Date of birth
Place of birth
United Kingdom
Engineer, Geologist


Date of death

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