Do you have ancestors with the last name of
Back, or Bach, who came from southeastern Kentucky?
Then you have probably heard of
The Back-Bach Genealogical Society.
Their name comes from the fact that some members
of the family spell their last name as "Back,"
while others spell it as "Bach."
You need to know that the genealogy they published
was fraudulent. What's even worse is the fact that
they knew it was fraudulent, when they published it.
They claimed that their Back (Bach) family from southeastern Kentucky descends from Harman Back, who immigrated from Freudenberg, Germany, and settled in Little Fork, Virginia.
But they had absolutely no proof of that whatsoever,
because there was no proof, because it wasn't true.
So, why did they do it?
They thought that they would get rich by doing so.
How the fraudulent genealogy started: Despite the name of the club, not one member of The Back-Bach Genealogical Society was a genealogist. The only reason they formed their little club was to publish and sell a fraudulent genealogy book about their own family.
But first, in order to create the illusion that their fraudulent genealogy was valid, they actually destroyed many old family artifacts, and historical documents, which verified the actual genealogy. They started by cutting out part of a page from their family's old Family Bible that contained a handwritten statement from 1762, which said that the family originally came from Thuringia, Germany. Then they destroyed the research of Dr. Wilgus Bach (who had documented the actual genealogy, in the early 1900s), by scribbling all over his research and using "white-out," to change what he had written, and by removing a large number of pages. They also went into libraries, and either removed books and documents that proved the actual genealogy, or they used an ink pen and crossed out the actual genealogy in books and documents. They even removed the gravestone of their own great, great, grandmother, Elizabeth Hoffman-Maggard Back (1755-1826), from the cemetery, threw it over the hill, and then they replaced it with a fake gravestone for Elizabeth Hoffman Back, the widow of Henry Back (1740-1809); afterwards, they actually claimed that their new fake gravestone was "proof" that their fraudulent genealogy was correct!
In 1994, they published their $85 fraudulent genealogy book about their family from southeastern Kentucky (mainly Breathitt County and Letcher County). Their book was titled, A Back Family History: The Story of a Major Branch of the Back/Bach Family. Their book falsely claimed that their family descends from a man named Harman Back (aka Hermann Bach), who was from Freudenberg, Germany, and who came to America and settled in Little Fork, Virginia, in 1739. Their book also falsely claimed that Harman Back had a son named Henry Back (1740-1809), and that Henry had two sons: John Back (1774-1853) and Henry Back (1785-1871). Their book further falsely claimed that, after the death of Henry Back (1740-1809), in Madison County, Virginia, his elderly widow, Elizabeth Hoffman Back, moved all the way down to southeastern Kentucky, with those two sons, and founded their Back (Bach) family there. But all of that was a blatant lie.
Shockingly, the members of The Back-Bach Genealogical Society knew full well that their fraudulent genealogy was a blatant lie. In fact, they had known the actual genealogy of their own family, for a long time, because it had been passed down, from generation to generation, for hundreds of years. It had also been openly discussed at the annual family reunions, which members of The Back-Bach Genealogical Society had actually attended! Those annual reunions had been held every fall, since 1933, on Miles Back's farm, in Quicksand, Kentucky, which was a small community in Breathitt County, where the family had first settled, back in 1791. Nearly 1,000 people attended those reunions every year. People brought a "basket lunch," and they sat out on the grass, talking and laughing with each other, and sharing stories and pictures. Everyone absolutely loved going to those reunions.
However, members of The Back-Bach Genealogical Society thought that they could make a great deal of money, by creating and selling a fraudulent genealogy book about their family, using Harman Back. They were completely driven by greed, to do this. It was truly appalling.
They knew that Harman Back was one of the immigrants who had been researched by The Germanna Foundation, which is a genealogical organization that brings in a tremendous amount of money by selling genealogy. That was the only reason why they created that fraudulent genealogy.
The Germanna Foundation: This organization had been established, back in 1956, to research the ancestors, and the descendants, of a small group of German immigrants (including Harman Back) who had settled into northern Virginia, in the early 1700s. Those immigrants mainly lived in two small settlements: Germanna and Little Fork.
In order to join The Germanna Foundation, back in the 1950s, a person had to descend from one of those German immigrants. But starting in the 1980s, The Germanna Foundation began taking money from anyone. That was also when The Germanna Foundation started to transition, from being a respected genealogical organization, into an aggressive money-making machine that turned the fun hobby of genealogy, into an obnoxious display of greed. Their primary focus was to bring in as much money as possible, for the people who were running it. It still is.
So, The Back-Bach Genealogical Society created a fraudulent genealogy that connected their Back (Bach) family in southeastern Kentucky, to Harman Back, simply to take advantage of The Germanna Foundation's extraordinary ability to make money from selling genealogy. They hoped to make a great deal of money as well. It was as simple as that.
In 1994: When The Back-Bach Genealogical Society published their fraudulent genealogy book, in 1994, they came up with a devious plan to sell it. They knew that the people who lived in southeastern Kentucky would never buy the book, because they already knew the actual genealogy of their family. So, The Back-Bach Genealogical Society started holding annual "secret family meetings," up in Lexington, Kentucky, 90 miles away, to which they only invited members of the Back (Bach) family who had been born and raised, outside of southeastern Kentucky. They figured that those people probably would not have heard about the actual genealogy of their family, and so they would buy the book. The Back-Bach Genealogical Society held those annual "secret family meetings" for four years, from the fall of 1994, through the fall of 1997. They sold all 500 copies of their fraudulent genealogy book at those secret meetings, because the attendees didn't know the actual genealogy of their family. They also sold lots of "memberships" in their little club for $20 per year.
In 1998: In the spring of 1998, The Back-Bach Genealogical Society sent out "newsletters" to members of the family who lived in southeastern Kentucky, announcing that THEY were suddenly going to "be in charge of" the family reunions. They said that they were moving the reunions, from Miles Back's farm, in Quicksand, all the way down to a restaurant in Whitesburg, 60 miles away. They also said that they were charging people $25 to attend the reunion, and $20 to join The Back-Bach Genealogical Society.
When members of the family in southeastern Kentucky received those "newsletters," they were understandably outraged. Nobody had ever paid any money to go to their own family reunion before, and there was no reason to join any club. Nobody from southeastern Kentucky went to that "new reunion" in Whitesburg, or to any of the subsequent "new reunions" in Whitesburg. The only people who went were from out-of-state. The attendees had to sit quietly, and listen, for two hours, while Reedus Back (the so-called "president" of The Back-Bach Genealogical Society) loomed over them, from up at the podium, looking down at them, and lecturing them about Harman Back. He also continually solicited them for money. And if anyone dared to ask about the actual genealogy of the family, Reedus and his cohorts laughed at them.
About fifty people attended that first "new reunion," but less and less people went, each year after that. By 2010, nobody showed up, and so the "new reunions" ended. The Back-Bach Genealogical Society destroyed the family reunions, for their own family, which had been going on for nearly seventy years.
The real damage: But it was that fraudulent genealogy book that caused the really serious damage to the family. It pitted the people who had bought the book, and somehow believed what was in it (even though there was absolutely no proof in the book for the claims that it made); against the people who lived in southeastern Kentucky, who already knew the actual genealogy of their family.
The Back-Bach Genealogical Society tore their own family apart, with their lies and their greed. To this day, the people who still blindly support that fraudulent genealogy are known as "Back-Bach people," which is not a compliment.
The "Back-Bach people" still loudly dispute the actual genealogy of their own family, because, either (1) they refuse to admit that they were duped, and they are too lazy to research the facts for themselves; or (2) they want to pretend that they descend from Harman Back, or Henry Back (1740-1809), so they can pretend to be a member of DAR (The Daughters of the American Revolution). Harman Back apparently "rendered aid" (provided supplies or ammunition) to the soldiers; and the name of Henry Back (1740-1809) was seen on a list of soldiers. That means that they are both considered to be "Patriots," in DAR, which means that their (legitimate) descendants can qualify to become a member of DAR.
The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR): When The Back-Bach Genealogical Society was preparing their fraudulent genealogy book, they discovered that Harman Back was a "Patriot" in DAR. They also discovered that Henry Back (1740-1809) was a "Patriot" in DAR as well. So, The Back-Bach Genealogical Society sent in information to DAR, claiming that: (1) Henry Back (1740-1809) was a son of Harman Back; and (2) Henry Back (1740-1809) had sons named John Back (1774-1853) and Henry Back (1785-1871). Both of those statements were false. However, back at that time, DAR was not very strict about what information they accepted; they basically accepted whatever was submitted to them. (But nowadays, DAR requires a substantial amount of documented proof, when new information is submitted.)
The Back-Bach Genealogical Society claimed that John Back (1774-1853) and his brother Henry Back (1785-1871) were sons of Henry Back (1740-1809), because those two men were well-known and well-documented as living in southeastern Kentucky. John Back (1774-1853) had married Catherine Robertson, and they mainly lived in Breathitt County; and Henry Back (1785-1871) had married Susannah Maggard, and they mainly lived in Letcher County. Those two men were the "final link in the chain," of the fraudulent genealogy created by The Back-Bach Genealogical Society.
For many years, that inaccurate information about Harman Back, his alleged son Henry Back (1740-1809), and Henry's alleged sons, John Back (1774-1853) and Henry Back (1785-1871), remained in the DAR records as being accurate.
As a result, many people who actually descend from John Back (1774-1853) and Henry Back (1785-1871) were able to obtain membership in DAR, based upon that inaccurate information.
However, starting around 2005, when the accurate genealogy of the Back (Bach) family began to emerge again, through the publication of several well-researched and well-documented books, some of the "Back-Bach people" responded in anger. One of them, a strange woman who had obtained her DAR membership through that inaccurate information, even set up an account on a DNA website, in order to purposefully deceive people into thinking that the Back (Bach) family in southeastern Kentucky descends from Harman Back.
The deceptive DNA website: That strange woman claims that the DNA samples she collected from several people "prove" that the Back (Bach) family from southeastern Kentucky descends from Harman Back, through his alleged son Henry Back (1740-1809), and then, through Henry's alleged sons: John Back (1774-1853) and Henry Back (1785-1871). But all of that is a blatant lie, and she knows it.
Even if the DNA samples came from the two groups of people that she claims they came from, which is highly doubtful (actual descendants of Harman Back, and actual descendants of people from southeastern Kentucky), and assuming that she did not change the numbers herself (to all be nearly the same), the "results" only show that, back in the 1500s, the people that she tested shared a common ancestor. So what...all their ancestors came from Germany. The "results" most certainly do not show that, way down those ancestral lines, in the 1700s, in America, one alleged ancestral line suddenly jumped over and then descended from another alleged ancestral line. She knows that. She is lying, just like all the "Back-Bach people" do. Her "results" do not, in any way whatsoever, "prove," or even suggest, that members of the Back (Bach) family in southeastern Kentucky descend from Harman Back and/or Henry Back (1740-1809).
In fact, there is absolutely no proof whatsoever that the DNA samples came from the two groups of people that she claims they came from. It is strongly suspected that all of the DNA samples came from descendants of people from southeastern Kentucky. She created that DNA Project, with the sole purpose of "proving" that she descends from Harman Back.
In fact, Kit #195252 is actually from her own brother! (She even admits that the man's father was born in 1908, in Stevenson, and that his grandparents were Joseph Lee Back and Mary Jane McIntosh. That describes her own father and her own grandparents!)
Absolute proof of her lies: In September of 2022, a comparison was made, between the current "results page" on her DNA website (called, "The Y-DNA Classic Chart"), to a saved screen-shot of her "results page," from a few years ago. The result was absolutely shocking. A few years ago, only one of the participants was shown to descend from Harman Back. But now, suddenly, every participant is shown to descend from Harman Back, including the participants who weren't shown as descending from Harman Back, a few years ago!
So, how did the ancestor of all those participants suddenly change, from not being Harman Back, to now, being Harman Back? And why does the chart show that every participant has Harman Back, or Henry Back (1740-1809), as their ancestor, written in the second column? Answer: Because SHE is the one who creates the information in the second column, and SHE is the one who wrote in Harman Back, or Henry Back (1740-1809), as being the ancestor of every participant! That is absolute proof that her DNA website is a fraud, and that she is purposefully manipulating the data, and purposefully deceiving people. What she is doing is beyond shameful. It is downright evil, and grounds for litigation.
In fact, she is actually an "officer" at a local DAR chapter! But yet, she keeps posting her fraudulent genealogy about Harman Back, all over the internet, while, at the same time, she keeps trying to eliminate the actual genealogy of her own family, from the internet. She is doing exactly what members of The Back-Bach Genealogical Society did, years ago---she is destroying the actual genealogy of her own family, while promoting the fraudulent genealogy of her own family, by using Harman Back for her own selfish and sick reasons. That is certainly not the way to honor a Patriot from The Revolutionary War!
That strange woman is doing whatever she can, to try to to hang onto her DAR membership. She is not only creating even more turmoil within her own family, she is also deliberately destroying the credibility, and the integrity, of DAR. What a disgrace she is. She needs to stop it. The lies and the deception have gone on, for long enough. (Is a membership in DAR really worth lying to members of your own family, and spreading lies on the internet about your own family?)
Update: In early 2022, DAR issued a very important announcement, after conducting extensive, in-depth genealogical research. They stated that Patriot Harman Back never had a son named Henry Back (or a son named John Back), and that the only son Patriot Harman Back ever had was Harman Back Jr. They also stated that Harman Back Jr. never had a son named Henry Back (or a son named John Back) either.
DAR further stated that, while Patriot Henry Back (1740-1809) did have sons named John Back and Henry Back, they were not the John Back (1774-1853) or the Henry Back (1785-1871) who lived (and died) in southeastern Kentucky. The John Back and the Henry Back, who were the actual sons of Patriot Henry Back (1740-1809), were different men; his actual son John was born in 1776, and his actual son Henry was born in 1783, and neither of them ever lived in Kentucky. (John moved to North Carolina, in 1798, where he probably died; and Henry died in 1805, in Virginia.)
This important announcement resulted in DAR placing "Error in Lineage" notices on all of the memberships of the people who had claimed to be descendants of Patriot Harman Back, and Patriot Henry Back (1740-1809), including the membership of that strange woman lying about the DNA tests. The DAR finally put an end to the fraudulent genealogy peddled by The Back-Bach Genealogical Society. They also need to put an end to that strange woman's membership, if she doesn't stop what she's doing.
Please visit the DAR website (click the button below). Or, you can access the DAR website directly: Go to DAR.org. Select "Genealogy" at the top. Then scroll down and select "Ancestor Search." Then enter Harman Back's name. After viewing his information, go back to "Ancestor Search," and then enter Henry Back's name, to view his information.
The DAR finally put an end
to the fraudulent genealogy peddled by
The Back-Bach Genealogical Society