A History of Westford, Massachusetts in Its Place Names The first settlers arrived in what is now Westford, Massachusetts, about 1664. Like new settlers every-where, they named the things around them. They named the hills, brooks, ponds, and swamps. They named the roads they used, the homes where they lived, and the schools they built for their children. They brought names with them, they borrowed names from the Native Americans, and they invented names. What can we make of those place names today? When we examine Westford's historical and current place names closely, we find that they embody our town's history. In The Westford Gazetteer Robert Oliphant collects over 2,000 such names, locates the places, dates the names, documents their changes with time, and explains their origins. Quotes from local histories, memoirs, town reports, newspapers, and other documents help bring the names, and the people who used them, alive. There is a great chasm between knowing the name of something and knowing something. For Westford place names, The Westford Gazetteer bridges that chasm.