We Came from Thuringia: Genealogy of the Bach Family in Breathitt County, Kentucky
by T. Bach

We Came from Thuringia: Genealogy of the Bach Family in Breathitt County, Kentucky

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The Bach family originated in Thuringia, Germany, which is in the central part of the country. This was the birthplace of the famous musical composer, Johann Sebastian Bach.

In 1740, the second cousin (once removed) of Johann Sebastian Bach sailed to America. He and his family settled in Culpeper County, Virginia, along Crooked Creek. They changed the spelling of their last name, from "Bach," to "Back," so that other people could more easily pronounce it. 

In 1791, the youngest son, Joseph Back, his wife Elizabeth Hoffman-Maggard, and their children, migrated to Kentucky, and they founded the family there. (Elizabeth had been orphaned as a child. She was adopted by the Maggard family, which was why her last name was actually Hoffman-Maggard.)

This book presents the genealogy of this family, who settled in Breathitt County, Kentucky, over 200 years ago. They first lived along Quicksand Creek, and then later, they and their descendants spread out to several nearby counties, including Harlan County and Letcher County. This is the genealogy that has been passed down, through the family, generation after generation.

The book follows each of the four children of Joseph and his wife Elizabeth: (1) Joseph Jr., who was born about 1773, but was murdered in 1802; (2) John, who was born on November 19, 1774, and married Catherine Robertson; (3) Mary, who was born on November 1, 1777, had an affair with John Colyer Jr., gave birth to a son she named Alfred, in 1806, but then she died, a few weeks later; and (4) Henry, who was born on February 6, 1785, and married Susannah Maggard. This book discusses each of these four children in detail, as well as well as their spouses, their children, and their grandchildren.

Joseph died in 1819, and his wife Elizabeth died in 1826. She was the first person to be buried in the Maggard Cemetery, in Letcher County, because she had been adopted and raised by the Maggard family, when she was a young girl. Sadly, in 1988, some people who called themselves "The Back-Bach Genealogical Society" removed her gravestone and replaced it with one that described her sister-in-law, Elizabeth Hoffman, who had married Joseph's brother Henry.

This book traces this family, all the way back to 1520, in Thuringia. It provides proof that this family is related to the musical composer Johann Sebastian Bach.

This book includes dozens of source documents that provide proof of the genealogy, as well as more than 300 pictures. It also includes copies of all the pages from the old Bach Family Bible that have handwriting on them, which help document the lineage. That old book is now on display at the Breathitt County Library. But you can see the copies of all of those pages from the old Family Bible, in this remarkable book.

It should be noted that many members of this family changed the spelling of their last name back to "Bach," mainly after WWII. That is why both spellings are used, in this family.

The author spent over a decade, researching and writing this book. You will certainly be impressed by the extraordinary amount of research that has been done. If you have a Bach (or Back) ancestor from southeastern Kentucky, you will really enjoy this book. 

Copyright © 2012 by T. Bach

ISBN10: #0-615-75270-5   ISBN13: #978-0-615-75270-9