North Thompson River

British Columbia. River: Fraser River drainage
Flows S into Thompson River, N of Kamloops
50.6819 N 120.3411 W — Map 092I09 — GoogleGeoHack
Earliest known reference to this name is 1875 (Pemberton)
Name officially adopted in 1925
Official in BCCanada

The Thompson River and its North and South branches are named for explorer and geographer David Thompson [1770–1857]. The Thompson river was given its name by Simon Fraser [1776–1862].

Identified as North River in Canada Gazette, 14 October 1865. Subsequently designated North Branch of Thompson River; labelled “Thompson River, North Branch” on Pemberton’s 1871 map of British Columbia.

— BC Geographical Names

Identified as “North River” on the reduced copy of a map referred to in the 16 July 1861 dispatch of James Douglas, first Governor of the Colony of British Columbia, and also in Canada Gazette, 14 October 1865. Subsequently designated “North Branch of Thompson River.” The name appears as “Thompson River North Branch” on the 1859 Arrowsmith map and as “North Branch of Thompson” on the 1871 Trutch map.

I have been unable to find the Joseph Despard Pemberton 1871 map of British Columbia.


  • Arrowsmith, John [1790–1873]. “British Columbia, reduced copy of the map referred to in the despatch of Governor Douglas of 16 July 1861.” (1861). University of Victoria
  • Trutch, Joseph William [1826–1904]. Map of British Columbia to the 56th Parallel North Latitude. Victoria, B.C.: Lands and Works Office, 1871. University of Victoria
  • British Columbia Geographical Names. North Thompson River

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