Click on above to view extract of Foertschbeck family album.

Author, Self-Publisher, Family Heritage Researcher


"American Born With German Roots"

German John's World

About: John H. Foertschbeck, Sr.

I was born and raised in the Highlandtown/Canton neighborhoods of southeast Baltimore, but have lived in Woodbine, Carroll County, MD, for over 45 years. My wife, Josie, and I, with our oldest son and two daughters, moved to Woodbine in 1968. Our second son and fourth child was born in Carroll County in 1972.

Professionally, I was a computer systems analyst/project manager for the Social Security Administration (SSA) and Centers for Medicare/Medicare Services (CMS formerly HCFA) for many years. When I retired from federal service I began a second career in information technology consulting. More recently in "full" retirement, I've written several books, worked with the Carroll County Genealogical Society, Carroll County Community Media Center and continued documenting our family genealogy. This latest interest has me involved with several genealogy associations.

Why "German John" for a third generation American? When we moved to Woodbine the locals generally have a hard time pronouncing "Foertschbeck" which is pronounced "FERCH-BECK". Most people want to incorrectly pronounce the name as "FORSH Beck" with many other variations. Since I love to practice my German whenever the opportunity presents itself, am always talking about my distant German relatives and friends and my trips to Germany, it was only natural for my local friends to start calling me "German John". As a kid growing up in a neighborhood where German and Polish names were the norm very few people had a problem pronouncing our family name. My childhood nickname was "Ferchie", a name that my some of my distant German relatives go by today. Another family nickname was "Fetchie", although I've never been able to track the origins of that pronunciation.

I've always enjoyed traveling and am happy to say that I, at least, set foot in all 50 States, Canada, Panama, Costa Rica, Jamaica and Mexico. My European travels include many trips to Germany and visits to Austria, Switzerland, Holland, Ireland, France, Denmark, Poland and the Czech Republic.

I am currently working on a new book relating to the Foertschbeck genealogy and my German heritage.

P.S. The "Sr." designation in our family tradition is assigned by living generations. Four generations of us were named "John Henry". My father used "Jr." until his father died and then he used "Sr." and I used "Jr.". When my father died I started using "Sr." and my son "Jr.". My great grandfather went by "Jr." because he had an older brother named John. Their father, my great-great grandfather was Johann Ernst Förtschbeck.

On 9 Feb. 2010 I was interviewed by the Carroll County Community Media Center (CMC). This interview is approximately 20 minutes long and can be viewed here.

The CMC recognized me as the "2010 History Project volunteer of the Year". This was an honor that I share with Ann Horvath and Cindy Hirshberg who conducted many of the interviews.

Created with FreewayPro © June 2015, Rev. Aug. 2015 John H.Foertschbeck, Sr.