The surname of BACHE was a German locational name 'the dweller by the stream in the valley derived from the Old German BAH. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. The first hereditary surnames on German soil are found in the second half of the 12th century, slightly later than in England and France. However, it was not until the 16th century that they became stabilized. The practice of adopting hereditary surnames began in the southern areas of Germany, and gradually spread northwards during the Middle Ages. The name has been brought into England and early records of the name mention Reiner de Bache, 1212 County Lincolnshire. Ralph de la Bache, was recorded in the year 1252, in the County of Stafford. Edward Backe of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. William atte Bache of County Worcestershire, was documented in the year 1300. Between the 11th and 15th centuries it became customary for surnames to be assumed in Europe, but were not commonplace in England or Scotland before the Norman Conquest of 1066. They are to be found in the Domesday Book of 1086. Those of gentler blood assumed surnames at this time, but it was not until the reign of Edward II (1307-1327) that second names became general practice for all people. Originally the coat of arms identified the wearer, either in battle or in tournaments. Completely covered in body and facial armour the knight could be spotted and known by the insignia painted on his shield, and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped garment which enveloped him. The most notable member of this name was Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) the German composer, one of the supremely great musicians of the world, born in Eisenach. An orphan before he was ten, he was placed in the care of his elder brother, Johann Christoph Bach (1671-1721) organist at Ohrdurf. The latter placed his music library of out bounds to Sebastian, who soon acquired the nocturnal habit of copying out scores, a habit which continued throughout his life, and which eventually ruined his eyesight. At the time of his death he was engaged on his masterly series of fugues for keyboard 'The Art of Fugue'. The lion depicted in the arms is the noblest of all beasts, and on that account in the symbol of strength and courage, and is most frequently borne in Coat Armour. The name has many variant spellings.
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