1. John BACK Sr.
John is a direct descendant of Johannes Sebastian Bach, the noted Germancomposer. His linage is as follows: son of Henry Back, Sr., born 1740in Orange Co. VA; son of Hermann Bach, born 13 May 1708 in Freudenberg,Germany; son of Johannes Bach, III, born 22 Nov 1674 in Freudenberg,Germany; son of Johannes Christian Bach, born 24 May 1638 inFreudenberg, Germany; son of Johannes Sebastian Bach, born 1612 inFreudenberg, Germany; son of Henrich Bach, born 1575 in Freudenberg,Germany; son of Erich Bach, born 1540 in Freudenberg, Germany.John and Catherine lived in Knox and Harlan Counties in Kentucky beforesettling finally in what is now Breathitt Co.KY. They first purchasedland there in 1836. The land at that time was part of Perry Co. KY(Breathitt County was not formed until 1840). Recorded in the Perry Co.KY Deed Book D, page 110, is the purchase of approximately 2500 acres ofland for $2000 from Wiley Cope by John Back and his eldest son, Joseph.His name appears in the Perry Co. Tax Lists until 1840 when his namethen listed in the Breathitt Co. Tax Lists until his death in 1853.John Back is mentioned in J.Green Trimble's book "Recollections ofBreathitt" where he states that four of the most prominent families onQuicksand in the 1840s were the Backs, the Hagins, the Copes, and theKashs. He further states that John Back was noted for being the ownerof the only wagon in the county. He said it was of his own manufacture,being made entirely of wood; no metal, not evan a nail, was used initsconstruction. Trimble said that John Back used his wagon to haul cornfrom that part of his farm known as the Round Bottom.The Round Bottom farm owned by John Back, Sr. remained in the Backfamily until 1940, when Cleveland Back, grandson of John Back, Sr., soldthe place and moved to Preble Co. Ohio.It is known that the only home of John and Catherine on Quicksand stoodsomewhere below the Roark Cemetery on the Sanford Brown farm. It hasbeen described as a large weatherboarded log house with a room havingbuilt-in bookshelves on several of its walls. Also on the farm, a shortdistance from their house, near the mouth of Roark Branch, stood a gristmill. John Back operated the mill, which is said to have been the firstmill in the Noctor community.John Back was talented in several fields, as were many men of his day.He was a farmer, millwright, stone mason, carpenter, and a cabinetmaker. A beautiful walnut and poplar corner cabiner that he made isstill owned by a descendant in the family. He manufactured all thetools he needed from wood. Among John and Catherine's possessions was aclock with wooden works.A descendant of John Back wrote the following about him: "John Back inhis declining years, being a devout man and believing in the word ofGod, read from his German Bible in that unknown language to manylisteners, the same message that we hear today. He was greatly impressedwith the great statemens of his day from Washington to Zachary Taylor.He could enumerate the great events as they occurred and to this day theexamples set before his children are noted to the fifth generation. Hewas a follower of the Jacksonian Democracy and a true believer in theBaptist Faith and principles as are many of his descendants. Hebelieved that to slay by the sword, by the sword you should be slain."