The Bach Genealogy. Does It Start in Wechmar? Was It in 1619?




The Bach Genealogy! Still today it is a challenge and that was the Bach genealogy, however, always: Three important book works of Bach researchers exist! However, all of them have been outdated for a long time. Not least this is due to the fact that the publications were published some years ago. And so it still changes constantly: the Bach Genealogy. Why do I consider this part as "advertising"? Because there are only a tiny, really tiny number of copies of Helga Brück's book left, and we bought them all. So, since you might consider this mention here as an advertisement, we definitely want to follow the rules and let you know about it.​



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The Bach Genealogy in a Constant Change


The Bach Genealogy is more than complicated. It is highly complicated. And a few have successfully come closer to it ... to completeness. It was certainly far from complete in 2011, because in every respect it has changed several times since then: very early, that is in the years around 1600, and also very late, in fact in the present day. The youngest member of the musical family has been born less than a year ago. And this Bach Genealogy also changes in the affiliation of whole branches. The radical change in technology, right, the internet, opens, also in the Bach Family Research, completely new options: Research that used to be possible only with long and far journeys – for example to London, England, Rotterdam in the Netherlands and also to Texas in the USA – is now possible online. Much is scanned and publicly searchable on the internet. If you then also know what to look for and also where, then you even approach completely new puzzles. Discovering them and solving them is what we two amateur researchers – my wife Renate and I – have made our hobby. And in the meantime we have compiled the most correct and also the most extensive Bach genealogy. However, it is still not completely ( ! ) arranged and also far from ready for presentation. But this would not have been possible without the work and research of the researchers Krafft, Frickel and Brück as well as Kock and Siegel.​




500 Years of Bach Genealogy


Veit Bach lived in the Bach location Wechmar around 1600. 20 years up or down. However, if you subtract 500 years from today's date, then you are in the year 1500. Well, more or less. In fact, in a document from that time concerning the musician family, there is talk of "the world-famous Bach family of 1504". However: At that time it was not yet a musical family. And that means? The history of the family of musicians begins with Veit. He was the first of whom it is handed down that he played a musical instrument. So the Bach Genealogy as a family of musicians began with him and around the year 1600. In the year 1619 there is an entry in a church book which mentions this Veit. With these indications we can finally think whether we want to associate the beginning of the history of this family of musicians with the year 1619. Or about 80 years earlier. Around 1500. For example 1504, but then not as a musical family, but "only" as the Bach family.


Crystal clear: The Bach Genealogy ... that's more than 500 years! Very clear also: Nothing is uncomplicated with Bach, also not the Bach Genealogy.




A Rough Idea About the Bach Genealogy and One Additional Link With It 


Here on the website about the Bach location of Wechmar the Bach Genealogy should only be presented in an entertaining and clear way. But if you are now really interested or even enthusiastic, then there is a whole portal around these many musicians elsewhere on the internet: There in the meantime, as already mentioned above, also around the research about the Bach's living today, the ancestors of Veit and the Bache, who are not yet included at all in the best known earlier works on this subject ... between today and 1600. However, if you are interested in the Bach location of Wechmar now and here and today – and in the Bach Genealogy just a little bit – then you are right here.​


There is this Veit, who died in Wechmar in 1619 and whom Bach listed as No. 1 in his "Ursprung". Bach biographers, Bach scientists and Bach genealogists have been arguing about Veit's father, his origins, his siblings and his life for more than 270 years. And they still do so today. Of course, before the time of Johann Sebastian Bach's death, hardly anyone was interested. But since that time it has. Well, the Thomas Cantor was indeed interested!​



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From about the time of Johann Ambrosius Bach, the father of Johann Sebastian Bach, the Bach Genealogy is finally somewhat clearer. At least in the essential data and the essential persons. By the way, here in the picture you can see not only the father of Johann Sebastian Bach, but also the uncle of the Thomas Cantor. In fact, he looked confusingly similar to his twin brother. So similar, in fact, that only their wives – and they only by their clothes – could tell the difference between the two brothers. The Bach Genealogy can be this exciting and this foolish.




Is This Bach Genealogy Really Complicated?


The Bach genealogy is highly complicated. One of the reasons is that many members of this family intermarried. The most prominent example is Johann Sebastian Bach himself, who married his second cousin, Maria Barbara Bach. Then it complicates immensely that the first names are often the same. The winner among these first names is "Johann Christoph", which is given a full 17 times in the family. Bach brothers married sisters of the same name of another family and then Bach brothers later even married widows of deceased Bache. None of them gave the slightest thought to what this meant for the later Bach Genealogy. In addition, of course, there is the usual: burned church records and disappeared ones. In addition, not recorded data and some is simply still "somewhere out there" ... but just not discovered to this day.​


Those who try their hand at Bach Genealogy for the first time and want to get an initial picture based on the internet and biographies will also stumble across such curiosities as that the Berlin Bach is also the Hamburg Bach and that the Milan Bach is then also the London Bach. Of course, some Bache simply disappear from the genealogical canvas and this too makes research a challenge. So much to the difficulty that a very significant branch of this musical family was discovered only a few years ago by Helga Brück, a specialist in Bach Genealogy and Bach author.​


Today we – my wife Renate and I, Peter Bach jr. – have dedicated ourselves to the ambition of discovering further genealogical secrets around this musical family. In doing so, we are building on the Bach genealogies of previous and renowned researchers whose works are recognized in the Bach science, honored with awards of the Federal Republic of Germany or crowned with the title of a professor. These are the life works of the researcher Kurt Hermann Frickel, the research of the professor Günther Kraft from Eisenach, the authors Kock and Siegel and the achievement of the mentioned, recently unfortunately deceased Bach author Helga Brück. 95, better 98 percent of this entire Bach Genealogy has been researched. The remaining two to five percent: They have to be found. And then also to be assigned.


Bach author and Bach genealogist Helga Brück from Erfurt. This photo was taken in 2012 on the occasion of one of our meetings with the expert. The video with her about the Bach city of Erfurt was made in the same time. She completed the Bach genealogy quite substantially. Unfortunately, she passed away quite unexpectedly already in 2014 and we miss her. Here is the link to the video ... on this page then scroll down a little bit.


Kurt Herrmann Frickel on the left from Niederwerrn is honored for his year-long work with the Bach Genealogy with the Medal of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany by the district chief executive Harald Leitherer.

Actually Johann Sebastian Bach belongs as the number 1 of this family of musicians on this page right at the top. But here on this website – and even in the whole Bach location of Wechmar – it is not about Johann Sebastian Bach. But it is about the Bach Genealogy on the whole on this page. However, to "forget" him ... that would be an unacceptable no-no.



Also, the fact that Johann Sebastian Bach married twice and had a total of 20 children with both wives Maria Barbara and Anna Magdalena does not make the Bach Genealogy any clearer ... but at least the succession of these generations does not complicate the research considerably. Or is that again not true at all?


Data protection plays a huge role today. The way to the youngest generations in the Bach family does not lead so easily ... because how should you find them? A few are willing to provide their personal data ... only those that are important and significant for the Bach genealogy. But some do not want to do so. They are right. We are trying to get this data anyway. In the sense of the Bach Genealogy ... and promise to treat these personal key data very confidentially.


Much, much more exciting than in Germany is the documentation of the Bach Genealogy in the USA. There, Johann August Reinhold Bach drowned shortly before the start of World War I when the "Empress of Ireland" sank on his way to Wechmar, and everything is documented. His own collected and compiled Bach Genealogy was also lost in the disaster. Copies of it ... there were of course none.


The Bach Band in Rochester, Minnesota, USA: All of these eight "gentlemen" are Bachs. They alone are a larger family of musicians than some other families of musicians on this earth. In the American section of the Bach genealogy you may observe the musical sense perfectly ...


... and when the American Bachs didn't play music, they just built musical instruments or at least sold them. With the sources and finds in the USA the Bach Genealogy really becomes alive. And there are really many descendants of Veit Bach from Wechmar from this family of musicians.




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The Bach genealogy would be incomplete without introducing at least one of Johann Sebastian Bach's four famous sons. This is Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach. He is the Berlin Bach. But he is also the Hamburg Bach. Two of the four Bach sons were even more famous than their father in their time. However, after 80 years of widespread popular disinterest in his music after his death, he caught up tremendously. Almost exactly 100 years after the first performance of the St. Matthew Passion, one of Johann Sebastian Bach's most famous works, the father of the four musician sons became more and more famous and his work more and more appreciated. Today, recognized worldwide, he is one of the most important musicians of all time. The New York Times even voted him number 1 in 2011, and the 100 years have finally become 101 years in our time. There had been a mistake in the date of the premiere.


Doesn't really fit in with the Bach Genealogy, but it's exciting: The New York Times votes him No. 1. Click here for the full article.



This was a very small appetizer in the subject of Bach Genealogy for you. There is much more elsewhere! Of course, here and now, on this Bach place of Wechmar website, not all areas of the Bach genealogy are addressed and even less are they satisfactorily dealt with. That should be like that. This page should interest you. It should make you want to know more. It should animate you to want to learn more about it. Maybe even to consider researching your own genealogy, a cool hobby. Here's a hint. We found out in 2021: The Bachs did not come from Hungary.​


If that succeeded ... so, to interest you in Bach Genealogy or to bring you closer to the hobby of family research ... then yes, there is more elsewhere. Actually ... much more. There you can then surf for hours, research, read ... and finally immerse yourself completely ... in the Bach Genealogy of musicians, which began in the Bach location of Wechmar around the year 1600.


Here, there is not only a rough overview. On "Bach on Bach" there are even answers regarding Bach, to which you didn't even ask the question yet. It, this website is not only about Johann Sebastian Bach, but also about Bach Genealogy and about family research in general is much more informative than one page here, where you are reading right now: There are about 1,000 pages on the subject of the Thomas Cantor and his family. German and English and in 48 other languages. With hundreds of Bach videos, pictures and photos and of course with the music of the master. If you already liked this website about Wechmar ... then you will surely be enthusiastic about "Bach on Bach". If you don't like this page, please don't click the button above.



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Hey, you're still here? You have read everything about the Bach Genealogy on this page, looked at all the pictures about the Bach Genealogy? Then you have earned a relaxation. A small one. A video – not explicitly about the Bach genealogy (... or somehow?) – but about the mentioned Mr. Hoske, the genealogist, might make you happy. It is short, four minutes, with music and text, and if you have watched it, then you already know Mr. Hoske much better. There is even more info here. But ... why is it an ad if we don't get a commission? Well, I want to be quite sure that the rule is not that whether I get commission or not, I have to mention that a service or product mentioned is presented in a way that promotes sales. And therefore, in case of doubt ... well, you know!



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