Maria Barbara Bach

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Maria Barbara Bach

Birthplace: Gehren, Thuringia, Germany
Death: Died in Köthen, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Johann Michael Bach and Catharina Wedemann
Wife of Johann Sebastian Bach
Mother of Catharina Dorthea Bach; Wilhelm Friedemann Bach; Johann Christoph Bach; Maria Sophia Bach; Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach and 2 others

Managed by: Tobias Rachor (C)
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

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