Back History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Back comes from a name for a person with a hunched back, or some other peculiarity of the back or spine. The word back is originally derived from the Old English word bakke, which in turn is derived from the Old English word boec.

Early Origins of the Back family

The surname Back was first found in Somerset, where they held a family seat before the Norman Conquest of 1066.

Early History of the Back family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Back research. Another 208 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1055, 1182, 1277, 1297, 1327, 1349, 1369, 1563, 1594, 1689, 1754, 1796, and 1878 are included under the topic Early Back History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Back Spelling Variations

Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Back include Back, Backe, Bace, Bac, Bak, Bache and others.

Early Notables of the Back family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Back Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Back migration to the United States +

Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Back or a variant listed above:

Back Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Back, who arrived in Virginia in 1662 [1]
Back Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Jobs Back, who landed in New York in 1709 [1]
  • George Dan Back, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1729 [1]
  • Henry Daniel Back, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1729 [1]
  • Philip Jacob Back, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1729 [1]
  • Johanes Back, aged 25, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1740 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Back Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William Back, who landed in New York in 1815 [1]
  • Baltazar Back, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1844 [1]
  • George Back, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1850
  • J Back, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850 [1]
  • Johan Peter Back, aged 29, who landed in America in 1852 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Back migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Back Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Francis Back, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Rajasthan" in 1838 [2]
  • Sarah Back, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Rajasthan" in 1838 [2]
  • Frances Back, aged 31, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Agincourt" in 1850 [3]
  • William John Back, aged 9, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Agincourt" in 1850 [3]
  • Frances Elizabeth Back, aged 7, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Agincourt" in 1850 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Back migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Back Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Usher Back, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Excelsior" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 17th March 1859 [4]
  • Jonas Back, aged 35, a farm labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Cartvale" in 1874
  • Mr. William Back, (b. 1861), aged 18, British settler travelling from Plymouth aboard the ship "Stad Haarlem" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand in 1879 [5]

Contemporary Notables of the name Back (post 1700) +

  • Major-General George Irving Back (1894-1972), American Chief Signal Officer, Department of the Army (1951-1955) [6]
  • Kenneth Back, American government official and research consultant
  • Admiral Sir George Back FRS (1796-1878), English Arctic explorer, born at Stockport, in Cheshire [7]
  • Neil Antony Back (b. 1969), British former international rugby union footballer
  • Natasja Crone Back (b. 1971), Danish journalist and TV-show presenter
  • KJ Back, Australian bacteriologist

HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Percy George Edward Back, British Marine, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [8]
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. Cecil Robert Back, British Petty Officer Stoker, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and died in the sinking [9]
RMS Titanic
  • Mr. Charles Frederick Back (d. 1912), aged 32, English Assistant Lounge Steward from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [10]


  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  2. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) RAJASTHAN 1838. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1838Rajasthan.htm
  3. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The AGINCOURT 1850. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1850Agincourt.htm
  4. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  5. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  6. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2011, October 6) George Back. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Back/George_Irving/USA.html
  7. ^ Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 6 June 2019
  8. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  9. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html
  10. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html


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