Gil Island

Feature Type:Island - Land area surrounded by water or marsh.
Name Authority: BC Geographical Names Office
Relative Location: W side of Whale Channel in entrance to Douglas Channel, SW of Kitimat, Range 4 Coast Land District
Latitude-Longitude: 53°11'26''N, 129°14'35''W at the approximate centre of this feature.
Datum: NAD83
NTS Map: 103H/3
Related Maps: 103H/3

Origin Notes and History:

Adopted in the 15th Report of the Geographic Board of Canada, 31 March 1917, as labelled on early Spanish and British Admiralty Charts. Re-approved 7 March 1933 on Ottawa file OBF 1420, 11 May 1946 on Chart 3724, 14 June 1946 on 103 SE, 1 December 1949 on Chart 3724 and 6 April 1950 on Chart 3742.

Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office

"Named in 1792 by Lieutenant Commander Jacinto Caamaño of the Spanish corvette Aranzazu, while searching along the coast under orders from the viceroy of Mexico for the mythical 'Rio de Reyes'. This strait or river, supposed to connect the Pacific with the Atlantic, was claimed to have been discovered in 1640 by Admiral Pedro Bartolome de Fonti, in command of a fleet of 4 vessles, his flagship being named the 'Holy Ghost' (Greenhow's Oregon, 1844, p.84.) The ensign-bearer of the 'San Martin' , flagship of the Duke of Medino-Sidonia in the Spanish Armada, was named Juan Gil. (Laughton, The Spanish Armada, Navy Records, II, p.355.) Caamaño sailed from Nootka 13 June 1792, steered northwards, and after examining Port Bucareli (Alaska) anchored in Dixon Entrance, probably under Rose Spit, on the 20 July. He then coasted southward along the continental shore, passing through Principe Channel into Nepean and Whale Sounds and out again near Surf Inlet and thence southward through Laredo Channel. In making the examination along this coastline for Fonti's strait, Caamaño bestowed several names, among others being the channels he passed through, and Campania Island, Campania Sound, and Aristazabal Island, all of which Vancouver adopted on his chart. Caamaño arrived at Nootka from his cruise 7 September 1972...."

Source: Walbran, John T; British Columbia Coast Names, 1592-1906: their origin and history; Ottawa, 1909 (republished for the Vancouver Public Library by J.J. Douglas Ltd, Vancouver, 1971)