Bach Genealogy--includes Back, Beck, and Peck
Genealogy of the Bach (Back) Family

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Do you have ancestors with the last name of Bach, or Back, who came from southeastern Kentucky?

Or, do you have ancestors with the last name of Back, Beck, or Peck, who came from southwestern Virginia?

All of these last names are used, within your family.



Your family originally came from Thuringia, Germany: Thuringia is one of the sixteen states in Germany, and it is located near the middle of the country (see the map below). You are also related to the famous musician and composer, Johann Sebastian Bach.

Map of Thuringia PLEASE NOTE: Your family did NOT come from Freudenberg, Germany, and you are NOT related to Harman Back (aka Hermann Bach), who settled in Little Fork, Virginia. That ridiculous story was created out of thin air, in 1994, by "The Back-Bach Genealogical Society," just to sell their fraudulent genealogy book. There is not one piece of evidence to support that story, because it was not true.

Hundreds of years ago, back in Thuringia, everyone in your family spelled their last name as "Bach." But when three men in your family sailed to America, in 1740, on the ship Lydia, their last names were written down as "Beck," on the passenger list. This happened because they spoke German, and the person who wrote down their names on that list was obviously not German, and so he wrote down their names as he heard them, phonetically.

The names of those three men were as follows:

1. Johann Wilhelm Bach (1722-1794)--see Johann Wilhelm Bach on FindAGrave.com

2. Johann Jacob Bach (1724-1790)--see Johann Jacob Bach on FindAGrave.com

3. Johann Heinrich Bach (1709-1789)--see Johann Heinrich Bach on FindAGrave.com

Johann Wilhelm Bach was the younger brother of Johann Heinrich Bach, and Johann Jacob Bach was their third cousin. Please click on the links next to their names above, to learn more about them, and to trace their connections to Johann Sebastian Bach. You will discover that all three men were second cousins, once removed, to Johann Sebastian Bach, because their great, great grandfather Johann Hans Bach (1580-1626) was Johann Sebastian Bach's great grandfather.

Their ship, the Lydia, landed in Philadelphia, on September 27, 1740. The two younger men, Johann Wilhelm Bach and Johann Jacob Bach, were single. The older man, Johann Heinrich Bach, was married. He brought over his wife Anna and their 2-year-old son John. All of them soon left Philadelphia and headed for southern Virginia. They settled on some land along Crooked Creek (also known as Meander Run), which is in the far southern part of what was then Orange County, Virginia. That land became Culpeper County, in 1749; and it became Madison County, in 1792. They lived near where the creek flowed into the Robinson River, not far from Cedar Mountain.

By 1772, the two younger men had married, and they migrated to southwestern Virginia with their wives and children. One of these two men, Johann Wilhelm Bach (John William Back), settled in what later became Russell County. He bought about 400 acres along Copper Creek, where it flowed into the Clinch River. He was known as "John Back." He had married Mary Marberry. He died in 1794, and his wife Mary died around 1796. He and his wife probably had several children, but only the names of two are known:

(1) John Back (born on June 25, 1760), who served in the Revolutionary War. He married a woman whose first name was Sarah. They had at least eight children: Constance (born 1789); Jacob (born 1791); Elizabeth (born April 3, 1796); Mary (born 1800); Nancy (born 1801); Sarah (born March 2, 1806); Charles (born 1807); John (born 1809); and Patience (born 1813). He and his family migrated to Wayne County, Kentucky. He later moved to Monroe County, Indiana, where he died, on April 15, 1845.

(2) Jacob Back (born on March 9, 1764), who married Sarah Lloyd. They had at least eleven children: Charles (born December 5, 1787); Mary (born 1789); Charlotta (born 1790); John (born December 6, 1792); Nancy (born 1793); Thomas (born 1795); Patience (born February 28, 1796); Eleanor (born September 24, 1800); Rutha (born November 3, 1801); Elizabeth (born 1804); and Martha (born December 12, 1812). He and his family also migrated to Wayne County, Kentucky. He died there, on December 23, 1839.

The descendants of Johann Wilhelm Bach (John William Back) generally used the last name of "Back."

Curiously, after Johann Wilhelm Bach (John William Back) died, in 1794, his older brother, Johann Heinrich Bach (John Henry Back), sent two of his sons (Joseph Jr. and John), along with John's best friend Samuel Maggard, over to southwestern Virginia, to help the widow Mary Marberry Back manage the farm. All three men got married there, in 1795. The name of Joseph Jr.'s wife is not known; he was murdered in 1802, by "someone from the Ford family." John married Catherine Robertson, who had lived with her family, a short distance down the Clinch River; John and Catherine then moved onto the farm of Mary Marberry Back, and they ended up living there until 1810, when they moved to southeastern Kentucky. Samuel married Rebecca Robertson, the sister of Catherine Robertson; Samuel and Rebecca then moved onto her parent's farm (in what is now Hawkins County, Tennessee), and they ended up living there until 1805, when they moved to southeastern Kentucky.

The other man who migrated to southwestern Virginia, around 1772, was Johann Jacob Bach (John Jacob Back). He was the third cousin, of the other two men, who were brothers. He settled in what later became Smyth County. He bought 120 acres along the south side of the Middle Fork of the Holston River. He was first known as "Jacob Beck," but he was later known as "Jacob Peck." It is suspected that his strong German accent caused people to think that he said "Peck," and so he was known as "Peck." His wife may have been Catharina Ring, but that has not yet been confirmed. He died around 1790. He and his wife probably had several children, but only the names of two are known:

(1) Jacob Peck Jr. (born in 1765), who married Margaret Kingery in 1795, and then married Mrs. Julia Ann Litz Romans in 1825. He had at least seven children with Margaret: Mary Ann (born October 15, 1800); Jacob Jr. (born 1805); Abraham (born January 16, 1811); Isaac (born 1812); Louis (born November 7, 1816); Joseph (born 1819); and George Washington (born February 19, 1819). He had at least five children with Julia Ann: Martin (born 1829); Benjamin Fairchild (born June 15, 1830); Leonard Litz (born June 15, 1830); James (born June 17, 1832); and Henry (born April 23, 1835). He died around 1843.

(2) John Peck, who signed the marriage record for his brother Jacob Jr., in 1795, when he married Margaret Kingery. But nothing else is known about him.

The descendants of Johann Jacob Bach (John Jacob Back), who later became known as "Jacob Peck," generally used the last name of "Peck." But it is believed that some descendants used the last name of "Beck."

The third man remained in Culpeper County. He was Johann Heinrich Bach (John Henry Back). His younger brother was Johann Wilhelm Bach (John William Back), and his third cousin was Johann Jacob Bach (John Jacob Back). He eventually owned 786 acres along Crooked Creek. He was known as "John Back." He had married Anna Hoffman, back in Thuringia, Germany. He built, repaired, and sold gristmills, throughout the area. He died in 1789. He and his wife had four children:

(1) John Back (born in 1738), who married Margaret Hoffman; she was the daughter of John Hoffman and Maria Sabina Folg. The Hoffman family lived along the Robinson River, and they were close neighbors of the Back family. John and Margaret had five daughters (Elizabeth, Anna, Sarah, Frances, and Susannah). John died in 1794. After he died, his widow Margaret moved to Rockingham County, Virginia, where she died in 1831.

(2) Henry Back (born in 1743), who married Elizabeth Hoffman; she was the sister of Margaret Hoffman, who married his brother John. Henry and Elizabeth had eight children: John (born 1776); Benjamin (born 1781); Joseph (born 1782); Henry Jr. (born 1783); Aaron (born June 18, 1785); Lewis (born October 14, 1787); and two daughters whose names are not known. Henry died in 1809. After he died, his widow Elizabeth moved to Rockingham County, Virginia, to live next door to her widowed sister Margaret. Elizabeth died there, in 1815.

(3) Joseph Back (born in 1745), who married Elizabeth Hoffman-Maggard; she was the daughter of Nicholaus Hoffman and Barbara Elisabetha Koestnerin. (Nicholaus Hoffman was not related, in any way, to John Hoffman, who was married to Maria Sabina Folg.) Nicholaus and his wife both died in 1770, and so their daughter Elizabeth was adopted by their neighbors, Samuel Maggard and his wife Catherine. Therefore, Elizabeth's name is hyphenated by modern-day researchers, in order to differentiate her from her sister-in-law, Elizabeth Hoffman Back, who married her husband Joseph's brother Henry. Joseph and Elizabeth had four children: Joseph Jr. (born 1773); John (born November 19, 1774); Mary (born November 1, 1777); and Henry (born February 6, 1785). Joseph and his family left Culpeper County, Virginia, and they migrated to southeastern Kentucky, in 1791. They founded the Back (Bach) family there. Joseph died in 1819, and his wife Elizabeth died in 1826. She was buried in the Maggard Cemetery, in Partridge, Kentucky, along the Poor Fork of the Cumberland River. Unfortunately, in 1988, some members of the so-called "Back-Bach Genealogical Society" pulled up her gravestone from the ground and discarded it, and then they erected a fake gravestone over her remains that described her sister-in-law, Elizabeth Hoffman Back, who was married to her husband Joseph's brother Henry. "The Back-Bach Genealogical Society" then used that fake gravestone to "prove" their fraudulent genealogy, which falsely claimed that the Back (Bach) family in southeastern Kentucky was founded by Elizabeth Hoffman Back, the widow of Henry Back. They also falsely claimed that the children of Joseph Back and his wife Elizabeth Hoffman-Maggard Back were the children of Henry Back and his wife Elizabeth Hoffman Back.

(4) Anna Back (born in 1755), who married Benjamin Strother; he was the son of James Strother and his wife Martha. Benjamin fought in the Revolutionary War. But he was forced to resign, after he dislocated his shoulder. Anna and Benjamin had eight children: John (born 1782); Nancy (born 1785); Charlotte (born 1787); Jemima (born 1788); Larkin (born 1792); Benjamin Franklin (born June 24, 1794); William (born 1800); and James (born 1803). Anna and Benjamin left Culpeper County, Virginia, and moved to Fauquier County, Virginia, in 1783, because his family lived there. Anna died there, around 1804. Two years later, Benjamin got remarried to Sarah Ann Wynn. Benjamin died on December 25, 1834.


The fraudulent genealogy: Back in the 1980s, a group of people formed a childish and very peculiar little club that they called "The Back-Bach Genealogical Society." However, not one of them was a genealogist, or even a historian. Many of them had not even graduated from high school.

Even though those people already knew the actual genealogy of their family, which had been passed down, through their family, for generations, and had been discussed at the annual family reunions, which they had attended since they were kids, they thought they could all "get rich," by creating and selling a fraudulent genealogy that connected their family to Harman Back, who was one of the early settlers that was being researched by The Germanna Foundation.

The Germanna Foundation is a large genealogical organization that was founded in 1956. They bring in a tremendous amount of money, selling genealogy, even though not all of it is 100% correct. They often deliberately make up stories, just to grab people's interest, in order to get them to buy their books, buy their assorted tacky gift items from their "gift shop," buy their incredibly over-priced tickets to attend their conferences, and buy tickets for their annual trips to Germany. Over the years, they have even convinced many of their members to actually leave their inheritance to them, which has provided them with a massive amount of money. They have used that money to buy all sorts of real estate, which they have altered to enhance the stories they tell.

Members of "The Back-Bach Genealogical Society" hoped that, if they could connect their family, who lived down in southeastern Kentucky, to Harman Back, who had lived in the far northern part of Culpeper County, Virginia, in a small settlement called Little Fork, they could profit from that connection, and make a huge amount of money as well, by simply being associated with The Germanna Foundation.

Here is how they made that connection. They first claimed that Harman Back had two sons, John Back and Henry Back, who married two sisters, Margaret Hoffman and Elizabeth Hoffman. Those two men did marry those two sisters, however, those two men were actually the sons of Johann Heinrich Bach (John Henry Back), as proven by the old Bach (Back) Family Bible, which is now on display at the Breathitt County Library in Jackson, Kentucky, and numerous other documented pieces of evidence. In fact, the only documented and proven son of Harman Back was Harman Back Jr., who was born in Germany in 1737, but "The Back-Bach Genealogical Society" didn't know that, or they pretended they didn't know that.

"The Back-Bach Genealogical Society" next claimed that, after Harman's alleged son Henry Back died, in 1809, his elderly widow, Elizabeth Hoffman Back, suddenly moved over 400 miles away, all the way down to southeastern Kentucky, and founded the Back (Bach) family there. (She was then about 65 years old; she had never been to southeastern Kentucky before, which was a wild and dangerous place at that time, and she had absolutely no reason to go there. Why would an elderly woman make such a trip for no valid reason!) But what really happened was this...after Henry Back died, in 1809, his widow Elizabeth Hoffman Back actually only moved a short distance away, to Rockingham County, Virginia, to live next door to her widowed sister Margaret Back. You can see both of them living in Rockingham County, in the 1810 Census Report. (Margaret was also seen in the 1820 and 1830 Census Reports.) Both sisters were also seen in the Rockingham County Tax Lists, up until the year that each of them died. Elizabeth Hoffman Back, the widow of Henry Back never moved to Kentucky. You can find all of this proof, and more, on the "Find A Grave" websites for each of these two sisters (see the links below).

Grave of Margaret Hoffman Back--Margaret Hoffman Back

Grave of Elizabeth Hoffman Back--Elizabeth Hoffman Back

In their fraudulent genealogy, "The Back-Bach Genealogical Society" also combined the children of Henry Back and his wife Elizabeth Hoffman Back, with the children of Joseph Back and his wife Elizabeth Hoffman-Maggard Back, claiming that all of those children were the children of Henry Back and his wife Elizabeth Hoffman Back. (Henry Back and Joseph Back were brothers.) However, by doing that, it resulted in two of the alleged children of Henry Back and Elizabeth Hoffman Back being born just four months apart! (Aaron Back, who really was a son of Henry Back and Elizabeth Hoffman Back, was born on June 18, 1785. But Henry Back, who was actually a son of Joseph Back and Elizabeth Hoffman-Maggard Back, was born on February 6, 1785. It was impossible for those two men to have been brothers!) Yet, in their fraudulent genealogy book, "The Back-Bach Genealogical Society" simply glossed over that startling fact, as if it was no big deal! Why anyone would believe the totally unproven, completely undocumented, and downright ridiculous and false claims of "The Back-Bach Genealogical Society" is a mystery.

Even worse, in 1988, people from "The Back-Bach Genealogical Society" actually pulled up the gravestone of Elizabeth Hoffman-Maggard Back from the ground, at The Maggard Cemetery, in Partridge, Kentucky, and threw it over the hill. She was their own great, great grandmother! She was married to Joseph Back, and she was the matriarch of the Bach (Back) family in southeastern Kentucky! Then they created a new gravestone that described her sister-in-law, Elizabeth Hoffman Back, who was married to Henry Back (Joseph Back's brother), and they actually put that new gravestone over the remains of Elizabeth Hoffman-Maggard Back! And ever since then, people who support "The Back-Bach Genealogical Society" point to that gravestone that they had created themselves, and claim that it is the "proof" that Elizabeth Hoffman Back, the wife of Henry Back, went all the way down to southeastern Kentucky and founded the family there. It is absolutely shocking.

Here is the gravestone of Elizabeth Hoffman-Maggard Back that they pulled up from the ground, in The Maggard Cemetery: Elizabeth Hoffman-Maggard Back

Here is the new gravestone they created that described Elizabeth Hoffman Back, which they placed over the remains of Elizabeth Hoffman-Maggard Back, in The Maggard Cemetery: Elizabeth Hoffman Back

In 1994, "The Back-Bach Genealogical Society" published their fraudulent genealogy in a big, orange book, even though they already knew the actual genealogy of their own family. Not only did they claim that Elizabeth Hoffman Back, the widow of Henry Back, founded the family in southeastern Kentucky, they also claimed that Henry Back was a son of Harman Back. That was how they connected their family to The Germanna Foundation.

Members of "The Back-Bach Genealogical Society" also created a new gravestone for Henry Back (1822-1877). He was the son of Henry Back (born February 6, 1785), who was a son of Joseph Back and Elizabeth Hoffman-Maggard Back (described above). But, in order to enhance their fraudulent genealogy, and their claim that Henry Back (born February 6, 1785) was a son of Henry Back and Elizabeth Hoffman Back, on the new gravestone that they made for Henry Back (1822-1877), they made his name to be "Henry Back III," as if he was the third Henry in the family line. But he was not the third Henry; he was the second Henry. His father was Henry, but his grandfather was Joseph. He was never known as "Henry Back III," and there are no records that show his name was "Henry Back III." The folks at "The Back-Bach Genealogical Society" just made that up as well.

Here is the new gravestone they created for Henry Back (1822-1877): Henry Back

To summarize...
Elizabeth Hoffman Back, the widow of Henry Back (1743-1809), never moved to Kentucky.
After her husband died, in 1809, she moved to nearby Rockingham County, Virginia, to live next to her widowed sister Margaret Hoffman Back.
Elizabeth Hoffman Back died in Rockingham County, Virginia, around 1815.
The gravestone for her, in the Maggard Cemetery, in Partridge, Kentucky, was created in 1988, simply to sell a fraudulent genealogy. It is a fake.

Henry Back (1743-1809) was not the son of Harman Back. He was the son of Johann Heinrich Bach (John Henry Back).
The Bach (Back) family in southeastern Kentucky is not related to Harman Back in any way whatsoever.

It was Joseph Back and his wife Elizabeth Hoffman-Maggard Back, who founded the Bach (Back) family in southeastern Kentucky.
Their four children were as follows:

(1) Joseph Back Jr. (born 1773), who was murdered in 1802--see Joseph Back Jr. on FindAGrave.com

(2) John Back (born November 19, 1774, and died in 1853), who married Catherine Robertson--see John Back on FindAGrave.com

(3) Mary Back (born November 1, 1777, and died in 1807), who gave birth to Alfred Back--see Mary Back on FindAGrave.com

(4) Henry Back (born February 6, 1785, and died in 1871), who married Susannah Maggard--see Henry Back on FindAGrave.com

There is not one shred of proof in that big, orange, fraudulent genealogy book that was published by "The Back-Bach Genealogical Society," which supports their claim that the Back (Bach) family in southeastern Kentucky descends from Harman Back. They just made it all up, and then they had the nerve to simply demand that people believe their undocumented, unproven, and ridiculous stories. What they did was so disgraceful and so dishonest.

Click this link for the in-depth truth about "The Back-Bach Genealogical Society"--The Back-Bach Genealogical Society