Maria-Barbara Bach (1684 - 1720)

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Death: Died
Managed by: Anders Hagen Jarmund
Last Updated:

About Maria-Barbara Bach

Maria Barbara Bach (October 20, 1684 – July 7, 1720) was the first wife of composer Johann Sebastian Bach. She was also his second cousin, and the daughter of Johann Michael Bach.

She and Bach married during his tenure as organist of St. Blasius Church in Mühlhausen, a position he assumed in midsummer 1707. That August, Bach received an inheritance of 50 gulden (more than half his annual salary) from his maternal uncle, Tobias Lämmerhirt. This facilitated his marriage to Maria Barbara, and the wedding occurred on October 17 at Dornheim, a village near Arnstadt, her home town and his previous post.

Even though not much is known about her life or their marriage, it is known that she and Johann Sebastian had a contented marriage.

According to her second surviving son, Carl Philipp Emanuel, her death in 1720 came quickly and unexpectedly: J. S. Bach was accompanying his employer, the Duke of Köthen, as the duke went to take the waters at the Carlsbad spa (the Duke brought his musicians along to provide him with entertainment).When J. S. Bach left Maria Barbara was in normal health; when he returned he learned that she had died and been buried on July 7. The cause of her death is unknown, but speculations include infectious disease or complications from pregnancy.

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Maria-Barbara Bach's Timeline

1684
October 20, 1684
1707
October 17, 1707
Age 22
Dornheim, Thuringia, Germany
1708
December 28, 1708
Age 24
1710
November 22, 1710
Age 26
1713
February 23, 1713
Age 28
February 23, 1713
Age 28
1714
March 8, 1714
Age 29
Weimar, Germany
1715
May 11, 1715
Age 30
Leipzig, Germany
1718
November 15, 1718
Age 34
1720
July 7, 1720
Age 35