Bach FAQ 16
The first wife of Johann Sebastian Bach was Maria Barbara Bach. Her last name was Bach before she married and after she had married too, as she was a cousin of Johann Sebastian. More precisely? She was a second cousin. She was born and lived in the nearby village of Gehren in Thuringia and was the daughter of the locally well-known organist of Gehren, Johann Michael Bach. Whether Johann Sebastian Bach met Maria Barbara on one of the numerous and regularly happening family fests of the Bache or whether he met her for the first time in Arnstadt is not handed down. However, it's relatively sure that the lady who Bach permitted to sing in the church, which was a enormity back then, was not Maria Barbara. That is, because history tells about an "external damsel" - and Maria Barbara Bach was absolutely known in Arnstadt.
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