Back/Bach Genealogical Society
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
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-
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
firstname.lastname@example.org . 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-
Line singing a treat at annual
By Milton Back
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 email@example.com
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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. email@example.com 15874 Hancock Rd.
Members recently received Sarasota, FL 34240
a membership directory for the Represents and promotes the firstname.lastname@example.org
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. email@example.com
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
2008 BACK FAMILY HISTORY CD
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.
A BACK FAMILY HISTORY CD
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
City and State________________________________________Zip_________________
Please type or print clearly to ensure prompt delivery of the CD's
Back/Bach Genealogical Society
Membership Application / Renewal
Please print name clearly as it should appear on Membership Materials. Spouse’s name goes below
Spouse's Name (only if joint membership): _______________________________________
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