Bach or Back?: Your family originally came from Thuringia, Germany.
Thuringia is one of the sixteen states in Germany, and it is located close to the center of the country. As far back as 1520, and probably before that, your family's last name was spelled as "Bach." In 1740, three men from your family sailed to America. Two of them were brothers, and the third man was their third cousin. All three of them were related to the famous musical composer, Johann Sebastian Bach.
Shortly after these men arrived in America, they changed the spelling of their last name to "Back," so that other colonists could more easily pronounce it, and spell it. In fact, many immigrants changed the spelling of their name, after they arrived in America, and generally, for the same reasons.
Curiously, two of these three immigrants (the two who later migrated to southwestern Virginia) later spelled their last name as "Beck," and the children of one of them later spelled their last name as "Peck."
Most members of this family continued to spell their last name as "Back," for several generations. But starting around 1900, some of them went back to using the original spelling of "Bach." That is why both spellings are used, within this family.
First settled in Culpeper County, Virginia: After these three immigrants arrived in America, in 1740, they settled in what is now Culpeper County, Virginia. The oldest immigrant owned land there, and he later died there. He and his wife had three sons and one daughter. His two oldest sons, John Back (1738-1794) and Henry Back (1743-1808), married two sisters, Margaret Hoffman and Elizabeth Hoffman, who were the daughters of John Hoffman and Maria Sabina Folg.
The Hoffman family lived along the Robinson River, and the Bach (Back) family lived along Crooked Creek, near where the creek flowed into the Robinson River. So the two families were close neighbors. After John Back died, and after his brother Henry Back died, each of their widows, Margaret and Elizabeth, soon moved to nearby Rockingham County, Virginia, as proven by several census reports and several tax lists. Margaret and Elizabeth both died in Rockingham County, and they were both buried there, probably on their small farms along Wolf Run, near Harrisonburg.
However, The Back-Bach Genealogical Society claimed that Elizabeth Hoffman Back had moved to southeastern Kentucky, after her husband Henry died, and that she founded the largest branch of the Bach (Back) family there. But that is not true. She never went to Kentucky. She went to Rockingham County, Virgina, and she died there, in 1815.
The Back-Bach Genealogical Society also claimed that Elizabeth's husband, Henry Back, was a son of Hermann Bach, who was from Freudenberg, Germany, and who had immigrated to America and settled in Little Fork, Virginia. But that is not true either.
Migrated to southeastern Kentucky: The oldest of the three immigrants died in Culpeper County, but his youngest son, Joseph Back (1745-1819), his wife, and their four children, later migrated to southeastern Kentucky and founded what became the largest branch of the Bach (Back) family in Kentucky. They settled along the banks of Quicksand Creek, in what is now Breathitt County, in 1791. Their four children were as follows: Joseph Back Jr. (1773-1802); John Back (1774-1854); Mary Back (1777-1807); and Henry Back (1785-1871). In addition, a young man named Samuel Maggard (1774-1858) migrated to Kentucky with them.
Migrated to southwestern Virginia: The other two immigrants later migrated to southwestern Virginia, and they began spelling their last name as "Beck."
One of these two immigrants settled in what later became Russell County, Virginia. He and his wife had two sons, who later changed the spelling of their last name, back to "Back." Their two sons were as follows: John Back (1760-1840), who fought in the Revolutionary War, and who later lived in Wayne County, Kentucky, and died in Monroe County, Indiana; and Jacob Back (1764-1839), who also later lived in Wayne County, Kentucky, and died there, and who married Sarah Lloyd.
The other immigrant settled in what later became Smyth County, Virginia. He and his wife had two sons, who later changed the spelling of their last name to "Peck." Their two sons were as follows: John Peck; and Jacob Peck Jr. (1765-1843), who married Margaret Kingery and Julia Ann Litz Romans, and whose children also spelled their last name as "Peck."