Middle Ages
Past Century
The Church
1250 jaar
Pl. Belang

History before 1000 AD

About Westergeest in this time is little known, and most information about this era is (to my opinion) the result of assumptions, theories and creative thinking.
Westergeest is located on a rise in the landscape. Many people see this as a mound (terp in dutch), but it's probably a natural elevation, product of the last ice-age. Among other things the sandy soil suggest this. In any case, it means the location was probably inhabited very early, since the surrounding area was often flooded by the sea in those times.
The name Westergeest is derived from this rise in the landscape. Geest (or gaast) means elevated sandy soil. Whatever it is west of is not clear. In general it is assumed to be west of the Wygeast at Oudwoude. Another explanation is at the west of in that time Kollumerland.
For the second name of Westergeest, Foestrum, the following explanation is given. In old times Westergeest was called Fostera, named after the heathen goddess Fostera. Later this was extended to Fosteraheim. It was not uncommon to add -heim to a place-name. Fosteraheim degenerated to Foestrum. When however Christianity came, the church became aware of the heathen character of this name and the village was given the name of Geast or Westergast. The name Foestrum was made ridiculous and degraded to a term of abuse.
A second explanation is a bit more simple. The inhabitants of Westergeest were said to be somewhat aggressive, as in, being ready to use their fists. Hence people living south of the village gave Westergeest the name Foestrum, derived from the frisian word fst, which means fist.