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					                                           Back/Bach Genealogical Society

                                           Descendant News
      Volume 16, No. 1                                                                  January, 2009

   FIRST NEWSLETTER                 of the Society and the names of     to the founding of the Back/
      By Danny Back                 the voting descendants who          Bach Genealogical Society.
                                    were present. These questions           When the manuscript was
                                    can be answered specifically        near completion, I checked on
This is my first issue as editor    but some background informa-        the cost to get a two volume set
of the Back/Bach Genealogical       tion on the formation of the So-    of books published. The cost
Society’s Descendant News. I        ciety is both interesting and       was prohibitive, so I had to
hope I can keep up with the         helpful to all descendants.         look at self-publishing, which
high standards set by Minerva           Prior to our present Back/      was much more reasonable. I,
Craft, Stella Elam and Reedus       Bach Genealogical Society,          then, consulted with an attor-
Back. I have reprinted an arti-     there was a forerunner organi-      ney about the requirements for
cle from a past newsletter to       zation. Starting in the late        a group to self-publish and sell
provided background on the          1980's, a loosely organized         a book. His advice was that we
creation, organization and pur-     group of descendants, primarily     needed an organization with an
pose of the Society.                from Eastern Kentucky, began        identifying name. The Book
                                    meeting with a goal to write a      Committee did not satisfy that
                                    Back genealogy book. Troy           legal requirement. The new or-
If you are not a member and
                                    Back chaired the meetings and       ganization would need a set of
wish to continue to receive this
                                    the group became known as the       officers, a constitution and by-
newsletter please become a          book committee due to the na-       laws, a business address and a
member by filling out the mem-      ture of its goal. On May 31,        tax number.
bership form on the last page of    1990, Custer Back and Troy              These legal requirements,
this newsletter. If you know of     Back called a one day meeting       led me to work on an earlier
someone who might be inter-         in Morehead, KY. They invited       idea which I had for an organi-
ested in becoming a member          the members of the book com-        zation of Back descendants.
please pass this newsletter on to   mittee, plus selected descen-       That idea was that we could
them.                               dants from various parts of the     get together, get to know each
                                    country. The purpose of the         other and enjoy being family.
 The Origin of the Back/            meeting was to assess the pro-      Since the possibility of such
                                    gress in the Back Family book       an organization would also
Bach Genealogical Society
                                    preparation. Soon after this        satisfy the legal requirements
        By Reedus Back              meeting, Custer and Troy asked      to self publish and sell the up-
                                    me to take on the major respon-     coming book, another strong
(Article from the January 2004      sibility of getting the project     incentive was added for mov-
newsletter)                         completed. This responsibility      ing forward.
                                    included chairing the book              At a meeting of the book
   At our Tenth Annual Meet-        committee, coordinating the         committee on June 16, 1993, in
ing in 2003, J had an inquiry       work of the authors, organizing     Jackson, KY, I proposed that
about the origin of our Back/       and editing the manuscript and      we consider founding an or-
Back Genealogical Society.          getting the book published.         ganization of Back descendants
Specifically, the question con-     This last responsibility, getting   and promote membership
cerned the date of the founding     the book published, led in part     throughout the country. My
specific recommendation was        of bringing the descendant              took a bus tour that had been
that we found the Back Genea-      families closer each year. Our          arranged by Stella Elam, Ex-
logical Society-later changed to   annual reunion and the newslet-         ecutive Director of BBGS. The
the Back/Bach Genealogical         ter helps to accomplish that. To        tour began with a visit to the
Society. Kenneth Back moved        illustrate that this function was       Valley of the Winds Art Gal-
and Ray Back seconded the          always a part of our planning,          lery which is located in Eolia,
motion to become a genealogi-      our first annual meeting was            KY on route 806 on the oppo-
cal society. After discussion,     October 1, 1994-approximately           site side of Pine Mountain from
the vote to approve the motion     a month before the books ar-            the Pine Mountain Restaurant.
was unanimous. Thus the Back/      rived from the printers.                The gallery is the home of art-
Bach Genealogical Society was          Looking back, I realize that        work by Jeff Chapman-Crane
officially founded on June 16,     the founding of the Society             and his wife Sharman. The cou-
1993. Those present at the         was the easy part. Getting it up        ple has displayed their artwork
founding were: Josephine           and running required much               in major eastern locations in-
Bach, Custer Back, Kenneth         hard work from a group of               cluding Baltimore, Philadelphia
and Mary Back, Linda Back,         dedicated descendants. This             and New York City.
Ray and Beulah Back, Reedus        group become known as the                   The next stop on the tour
Back, Troy Back, Verna Back,       Steering Committee-listed in            was the Oven Fork Mercantile
Hazel Craft, Jean and Preston      your newsletter.
Farrar, Blanch Landrum, Mona                                               which has a large display of so
                                       Now that the Back/Bach Ge-          many mountain antiques and
Proctor and David Risner. At       nealogical Society is soundly
least three of the book commit-                                            gifts that anyone should be able
                                   established and doing well, I
tee members were absent: Car-      feel good that I was in a posi-         to find something to suit their
rie Back, Dexter and Louisa        tion to provide leadership to           taste, including terrific peanut
Dixon.                             those descendants who estab-            butter fudge made locally.
    The first society officers     lished form and function to the             From the mercantile, the
were: Reedus Back, President,      organization. Certainly, our So-        tour proceeded to the Maggard
Kenneth Back, vice-president,      ciety has been brought about by         (formerly Oven Fork) Old
Mary Back, secretary, Bill         group effort. No single individ-
                                   ual could have accomplished so          Regular Baptist Church where
Banks, financial secretary,                                                many of our ancestors wor-
Mona Proctor, Technology Di-       much.
rector, Hassie Helton, newslet-        Finally, I sincerely hope that      shipped. The cemetery, located
ter editor. Bill Banks and Has-    the tenth anniversary that we           behind the church, contains the
sie Helton soon resigned. Their    celebrated in 2003 will be a            gravesite of Elizabeth Hoffman
positions were filled by Stella    tiny fraction of the life history       Back (Bach), one of our earliest
Elam, Financial Secretary and      of our Society. There are gen-          ancestors, who died in 1831.
Minerva Back Craft, newsletter     erations of Back/Bach descen-
editor. Later, Kenneth Back
resigned as Vice-President and     dants yet to come who should
was replaced by James Gary         have the opportunity to enjoy
Back. The first address was P.     the activities of the society as
O. Box 273, Morehead, KY           much as those of us who are
40351.                             members today.
    The next step was accom-
plished shortly thereafter-a       Editor: Thanks to the leadership of
statement of constitution and by   Reedus the Society is now in its 15th
-laws was prepared and adopted     year.
and a tax number was obtained.                                                 The tour then proceeded to
    The first major task of the      HIGHLIGHTS OF 15TH                    Benham, KY where lunch was
Society was to self-publish and       ANNUAL MEETING                       served in a private dining room
sell, A Back Family History:            Friday, Oct. 10th                  at the Schoolhouse Inn, a bed
The Story of A Major Branch             By Milton Back                     and breakfast located in the for-
of the Back! Bach Family.
                                                                           mer Benham School. Following
With that major task looming,         Seventeen of this year’s at-         lunch, the group visited the
we never lost sight of the very    tendees at the annual meeting           Kentucky Coal Mining Mu-
important and ongoing function
seum in Benham, formerly a          years as the first and only presi-    meeting to different locations
coal company commissary. The        dent of the Back/Bach Genea-          would increase attendance. It
museum displays exhibits on         logical Society, he was retiring      was noted that most of the
coal mines, miners, miners’         as President effective with the       meeting attendees were from
families, and coal communities      2008 annual reunion.                  outside the 5 county area
dating from 1900. The group             Prior to his election as Presi-   around Letcher County. The
then returned to Whitesburg to      dent of the Society in 1993, he       first three meetings were held
prepare for the evening social      served for three years (1990-         in Lexington. The 1997 meet-
and dinner.                         1993) as chairman of a small          ing was in Hazard and in 1998
    The evening gathering and       local committee which led to          the meetings were moved to
dinner were held at the Seco        found the nation-wide Back/           Whitesburg. The 2000 meeting
Winery which is located in the      Bach Genealogical Society.            was held in Morehead Ken-
former Southeast Coal Com-              Reedus was Editor-In-Chief        tucky. In 2001 the meetings
pany Commissary in Seco.            of the original two volume set        were returned to Whitesburg.
Most of the attendees of the        of “A Back Family History.”           The Whitesburg meetings were
annual meeting were there and           The Back descendents thank        the best attended as members
a great time of socializing was     Reedus for all his hard work          visit places from their youth,
accompanied by an excellent         and leadership in creating the        relatives, cemeteries, and local
meal. The Friday night get-         books and working to found the        genealogy Libraries during
together has proven to be one       Back/Bach Genealogical Soci-          their free time. Possible meet-
of the most popular events of       ety. Although he has retired          ing locations in southeast Ken-
the annual meeting.                 Reedus will remain an active          tucky were discussed.
                                    member of the society and act             If you have suggestions for
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 11                as a consultant to current and        meeting locations, tours or pro-
     By Dan Back                    future steering committee mem-        grams please contact Milton
                                    bers.                                 Back.
      Business Meeting                  Several members were dis-             Following the business
                                    cussed as possible new presi-         meeting was a discussion of the
All activities on Saturday were     dents. The unanimous choice           need for volunteers to help
held at the Pine Mountain Grill     was Milton Back who as head           clean family cemeteries in the
conference room in Whites-          of the steering committee dem-        area.
burg. Registration was handled      onstrated his organizational and
by Bernie and Linda Back.           leadership skills. Milton was            Cemetery Preservation
    A business meeting was held     nominated and elected the new                  Project
in the afternoon for the purpose    president.                                      Milton Back
of committee reports and elec-          The other steering commit-
tion of officers. The steering                                During the 2009 annual meet-
                                    tee member wishing to resign
committee reported on a slate                                 ing we are planning a workday
                                    was Minerva Craft, Editor of
of officers, future meeting loca-                             to do some cemetery preserva-
                                    the newsletter. Minerva has
tions, how to increase member-                                tion work. This will entail
                                    been editor since the Society
ship and attendance and the                                   cleaning headstones to make
                                    was formed. Her role was to
status of the web site. The                                   them readable, resetting over-
                                    collect, review and edit the sub-
meeting was followed by a                                     turned stones, general clean-up
                                    missions. We would like to
planning session for the pur-                                 and other items as necessary.
                                    thank Minerva for 15 years of
pose of organizing next year’s                                We plan to spend about six
cemetery restoration project.                                 hours of actual work and allow
                                        Dan Back was elected edi-
                                                              about 2-3 hours for travel as the
     Elections of Officers                                    Back/Bach cemeteries are
                                                              mostly in Breathitt County. We
                                Future Meeting Locations
   At the 2007 meeting Reedus                                 will be back in Whitesburg in
Back announced that after 18                                  time to make the Friday night
                              Discussions were held to deter-
years in leadership roles, 15                                 dinner.
                              mine if moving the annual
The effort will be supervised by           Saturday Evening               Reedus was recognized for his
Ann and Ken Holmes who are                                               work on the original set of
long-term members of BBGS            Milton Back was Master of           books “A Back Family History.
and are experts in this field.       Ceremonies for a wonderful          Most importantly he was
Ken made a presentation during       meeting. There were about 50        thanked for having the foresight
the business session of the last     members present from all over       and determination to create and
meeting to give us a general         the country.                        lead the Back/Bach Genealogi-
idea of what is involved and the        Milton introduced Reedus         cal Society for 15 years.
equipment and supplies that          Back who opened the meeting
will be needed. The only thing       with a welcome to everyone.               News Letter Editor
volunteers will need to do is
bring some work clothing as
this could be dirty and wet                                              Danny Back was presented as
work.                                                                    the new editor of the newslet-

                                        Following an invocation by
                                     Tim Back everyone joined in a       Minerva Craft was recognized
   Example of the condition of the   delicious Dinner Buffet.            for her years of service as edi-
               stones                                                    tor.
                                        Presentation of Officers
    The reason for this effort is
to pay tribute to our ancestors      After dinner the first order of
which is what our Society is all     business was the Presentation
about. It can be disappointing       of Newly Elected Officers. As
when we visit the cemetery and       was mentioned in the Business
are unable to identify the names     meeting article Reedus had ex-
on the headstones, which we          pressed a desire to retire as
hope to remedy to some extent.       President. Milton Back was
We need volunteers to make           presented as the new president.
this effort successful. It will be
done on the Friday preceding                                                Minerva Craft and Milton Back
our Saturday activities at the
2009 meeting and, hopefully,                                                         Program
will become an ongoing effort
in the future. If you are willing                                        The Evening program was
to assist in this effort, please                                         “Death & burial of the Mem-
contact Milton Back at 4201                                              bers of the Back Family” by
Japonica Lane, Charleston, WV                                            Stephen Bowling Director,
25313, 304-744-1141 or mil-                                              Breathitt County Public Library . Your con-                                              and Heritage Center.
sideration of this project is          Milton Back Being Congratulated
greatly appreciated.                             by Reedus

Stories by Stephan Bowling          the history and tradition of line      Back/Bach Family History
about Back relatives will ap-       singing. We can consider our-                       CD
pear in future newsletters.         selves fortunate to have had         Danny Back presented an up-
                                    this first-class presentation of a   date on the 2008 Back/Bach
                                    unique part of our heritage and      Family CD. He brought 50
                                    tradition.                           copies for sale. Purchase de-
                                                                         tails of the CD are found else-
                                                                         where in this newsletter. If you
                                                                         have updates or changes please
                                                                         send them to Danny Back.


                                                                          One of the most entertaining
                                                                         events each year is the auction
                                                                         with Richard Smith as auction-

         Stephen Bowling

Line singing a treat at annual
       By Milton Back
                                               Elwood Cornett
One of the highlights of the
2008 annual meeting was a ses-      Following his discussion of the Richard Smith auctioning a sheet of
sion of congregational line         history of line singing Elwood                money
singing. The leader of the guest    Cornett and group sang a selec-
singers was Elwood Cornett of       tion of songs.                  This is always a spirited event.
Blackey.                                                            We were not disappointed this
    Mr. Cornett is a Minister in       Recognition of Veterans      year as we had an excellent as-
the Old Regular Baptist                                             sortment of items to auction.
Church, a lifelong resident of      Each year we recognize anyone Some old, some new, and many
Letcher County and is a retired     present at the meeting who has hand made.
Educational Administrator. Mr.      served in the Military. This
Cornett is also moderator of the    year our honorees were James      Another great meeting
Indian Bottom Association of        Caudill and Jim Fields. Milton        comes to a close
Old Regular Baptist. Accompa-       Back presented each with a pin.
nying him were his wife,                                            The meeting ended by every-
Kathy, Jim and Grethel Fields                                       one singing "I'll Fly Away” led
and James and Nina Caudill.                                         by Elwood Cornett.
Elwood gave a brief history of
line singing and the group                                               The 2008, 15th Annual meeting
treated us to several line-                                              of the Back/Bach Genealogical
singing hymns. Of special in-                                            Society ended with Prayer and
terest to BBGS, the singers are                                          Dismissal by Elwood Cornett.
all related to the Back’s, either
directly or by marriage.                                                   MEETING REMINDER
    In recent years, Mr. Cornett       Milton Back recognizes James       The next annual meeting will
has been participating in con-             Caudill and Jim Fields            be held in Whitesburg
ferences at Yale University on                                               October 9 & 10, 2009.

NEWS LETTER REQUEST                 application form to enroll new      (812) 594-2628
                                    members.                            P.O. Box 63
This is my first edition of the          If you have any hesitation     Patriot, IN 47038
news letter as editor. I have       about joining or renewing your
included a lot of background        membership, or about asking
information to help those who       others to join the Society, take
                                                                        Organize and publish the De-
are not familiar with the history   a moment to reflect on the rich
                                                                        scendant News
and purpose of the Back/Bach        history of the Back/Bach fam-
Genealogical Society under-         ily. Our ancestral roots go deep,
                                    nourished through the centuries     Stella Elam,
stand who we are.                                                       Executive Director (606) 633-
                                    by individual experiences and
    The purpose of any news                                             8941
                                    contributions to the efforts of
letter is to keep members of the                                        4638 Hwy 7 South
                                    early Germany to become a
organization informed about the     unified country; to young colo-     Blackey, KY 41804
past, present and future. In        nial America becoming a free        Collects dues and fees;
each issue I would like to in-      united society; and to the ad-      maintains and reports on
clude articles about the family,    vancement of the United States      financial, membership and
notice of events, birth and death   today. As we, the present gen-      administrative records;
announcements and updates to        eration of Back/Bach descen-        coordinates meetings, reg-
the family genealogy. To this       dants, draw strength from our       istration and special pro-
end we need your help.              ancestral roots, we should be       jects.
    Would you please send me        challenged to do our part to
any information you would like      nourish those roots for future      Billie Jo Caudill, Treasurer
to share with the Back family.      generations. Please join us in      (606) 633-0640
                                    passing this rich family heritage   357 Judy Branch
Danny Back                          to our young people.                Blackey, KY 41804
P. O. Box 63                                                            Manages financial accounts.
Patriot, IN                         Note:
47038                               Membership dues are now pay-
                                    able for the year beginning July REGIONAL CONTACTS:
e-mail         1 st. A renewal form is in-      South Carolina: Karen Back
                                    cluded for your convenience. 334 Crepe Myrtle Dr.
    Membership Drive                                                 Greer, SC 29651

    The current membership          STEERING COMMITTEE                  Houston. Patrick J. Back
year ends June 30th. Unless               CONTACTS:                     18627 So. Lyford Dr.
you are a lifetime member,                                              Katy, TX 77449
please use the form enclosed to                                         (281) 550-8656
renew your annual member-           Milton Back, President
ship. Society membership as-        (304)744-1141
                                    4201 Japonica Lane                  Southeast:
sures that you will receive the
Descendant News, membership         Charleston, WV 25312                Shirley Back Fowler
directory, and meeting notices.                  15874 Hancock Rd.
    Members recently received                                           Sarasota, FL 34240
a membership directory for the      Represents and promotes the
current year. Please refer to       Society oversees general op-
your directory and see if you       erations; collects, reviews         West: Greg Back
know of someone who is not a        and edits genealogical data;        20702 El Toro Rd. #130
member but might like to join       responds to general inquir-         Lake Forest, CA 92630
the Society. Back/Bach descen-      ies and acts as meeting host.
dants and their spouses are in-
vited to join, and other inter-     Danny Back, Vice-
ested persons are welcome.          President and Newsletter
Please feel free to copy your       editor
For those of you not familiar with the Back/Back book, "A Back Family History" was a two volume set published in
1994 by the Back/Bach genealogy society. This was not a commercial venture, but information about the Back's by the
Back's. The books contain information on over 36,000 people tracing the family back to the 1500's. A limited run of 500
copies of the books were printed. The books are now out of print and the plates were destroyed.

In 2001 the books were re-issued on a CD. In 2005 an update to the books was created.

The 2008 BACK FAMILY HISTORY on CD is now available. This new CD looks similar to the original books with
all the additions and corrections. The CD contains records for about 27,000 relatives. The price for this CD is $25 in-
cluding postage. All proceeds go to the Society to continue their work.

The new CD contains updates on branches of the family we had very little information about. Some 3,000 new names
were added and over 2,500 individual entries were edited.

The comprehensive index contains over 40,000 names. This new index tells how each individual fits into the family (i.e.
child of, spouse of, etc.) Also the index is easier to search as the names are listed as full names (i.e. Henry Edward
Back) and Last name, first name (i.e. Back, Henry Edward).

If interested complete the form below.


Please Send me ____________ copies of "A Back Family History 2008" CD @ $25.00 ea. This price includes shipping,
handling and tax.

Total amount of enclosed check_____________.

Please do not send cash. Make Checks payable to Back/Bach Genealogical Society. We regret that we cannot accept
Credit Cards. Please allow 4-6 weeks for

Return payment with this form to

Back/Bach Genealogical Society
4638 Hwy 7 South
Blackey, Ky

Ship to:



City and State________________________________________Zip_________________

Phone (________)_________________________

Please type or print clearly to ensure prompt delivery of the CD's

                                        Back/Bach Genealogical Society
                                        Membership Application / Renewal
                                 Descendant Name:____________________________________________________________
                                                 Please print name clearly as it should appear on Membership Materials. Spouse’s name goes below

                                 Spouse's Name (only if joint membership): _______________________________________

                                 Address: ___________________________________________________________________

                                 City, State: ____________________________________________________ Zip:__________

                                 Phone:____________________________________Check one                           O NEW         O RENEWAL

                                 E-Mail address: _____________________________________________________________

                                 Back/Bach descendant number, if known/applicable:________________________________

                                 Please check one to indicate level of membership desired and amount enclosed:

                                 O   Individual                                                              $7.50 per year
                                 O   Husband/Wife                                                           $10.00per year

                                 O    Individual                                                            $20.00 per year
                                 O    Husband/Wife                                                          $30.00 per year

                                 O     Individual                                                           $100.00 (One time)
                                 O     Husband/Wife                                                         $150.00 (One time)

                                 Annual membership covers one year from July 1 to June 30 of the following year.
                                 Make checks payable to Back/ Bach Genealogical Society. We regret that we cannot accept credit
                                 cards. Return payment with this form to:

                                 Back/Bach Genealogical Society
                                 4638 Hwy 7 South
                                 Blackey, KY 41804

                                 Recruited by (optional) ______________________________

                                 Your name will be placed on our mailing list immediately when your application is received. If
                                 you need extra forms or have questions about your membership status, please call Stella Elam at


Back/Bach Genealogical Society
4638 Hwy 7 South
Blackey, KY 41804

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