This famous surname recorded in over fifty different spellings, derives from the pre 5th century Olde German and later Anglo-Saxon word "bah" or "baecc". This word describes a stream, or as a name specifically someone who lived or worked by a stream. The various spellings of the modern surname which dates from the early13th century, include Bach, Bache, Bak, Bake, Balk, Balck, Batch, Beck, Bock, Boak, Boake, Beckmann, Becker, Bacher, Pach, Pachman, Ubach, and many more. The name is recorded in almost every European country, but is most popular in Germany and England.It is fact in the latter country that most of the really early recordings are to be found. England was the first country to adopt hereditary surnames as we know them today, for all its people.Early surname recordings in other countries where they exist, usually refer only to the nobility or clergy. Amongst these very early English recordings are those of Robert de Basche, a witness at the Assize Court of the town of Stafford in the year 1199, and Mary Boake who married Thomas Eason at St Mary at Hill, in city of London in 1645. In Germany Heinrich Bach is recorded as being the priest at the town of Villingen in 1447. Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 - 1750) the famous German composer; was the musical director to Prince Leopold of Kothen in 1716, and later musical director for the city of Leipzig from1728 to his death. The first recorded spelling of the family name is believed to be that of Reiner de Bache. This was dated 1212, in the rolls of the county of Lincolnshire, England. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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