Bette Butcher Topp   Welcomes You !

I am glad to welcome you to my homepage.  Hope you will sit down for a few minutes, have a cup of coffee (or tea) while you visit with me.  Leaf through all the various pages of "my book" and see if you find anything interesting or if you can possibly connect to any of  my ancestral families.  I do hope that you will find something different and interesting. Please be sure and let me know if we are related. Finding new cousins is the greatest!
29 September 2011.

After some time, I came across the Journal that my father, Hobart S. Butcher, kept when he was 22 years old while in the Navy. The Journal covers the maiden voyage he took in 1920-1921 aboard the destroyer "Gilmer DD-233". It was sent to Europe for a year of training plus other jobs. I remember my Dad saying that they were sent to Russia and the Bay of Riga, to guard the oil wells of J.Paul Getty against the Bolsheviks after WW I.

He had a fancy type of handwriting and he wrote it mostly in pencil (which has faded in time) but it included every port/dates the Gilmer entered, along with the history/culture of the area, bills from hotels, as well as from stage shows that he had attended, some menus and currency from every country. He also included pictures and every adventure that he and some of his shipmates enjoyed. I was totally amazed.

So I transcribed the whole Journal. It was written in an old type of merchandise business ledger, which had gradually loosened some pages and in another few years would surely be destroyed. I also remembered him saying that he wanted Doug, (our oldest son) to have all his Navy material. Doug also served in the Navy (1973-1978 -VietNam Period) and Dad was so proud of that, for Doug went to Boot Camp at the U.S. Naval Training Center in San Diego, CA. My Dad had actually been an instructor there in the 1930's before he retired to the Naval Fleet Reserve after twenty (20) years of service.

I started researching the Gilmer and learned that there is a Navy site for each destroyer with information about the ships and their history. I contacted the webmaster, Fred Willshaw, and told him about the Journal. He was interested and wanted information on other destroyers also, as well as about my Dad. He did a wonderful job of putting pictures and information on this site. You can see it at I can only imagine how thrilled my father would be and know he is.

Then he directed me to another source - Dr. David Winkler, of the Naval Historical Foundation - who I found was very interested in having five (5) copies of the Journal  for use by researchers - for the Navy Dept. Library, U.S. Naval Archives, Navy Libraries in Newport, RI, Monterey, CA as well as the Library of Congress. Wow!  So I copied the Journal and sent them to Dr. Winkler.

Now, I am so glad that I preserved this Journal of my Dad's. I am always amazed when I think about it - all this from a very young kid from the hills of West Virginia, who was raised by his grandparents, as both his parents were deceased by the time he was twelve. I do know that Dad loved the Navy and it was such a happy time of his life. He always talked about it. He had served on a destroyer when the famous Admiral Nimitz was on board as a Lt. j.g.; had definitely seen the world; served on submaries for eighteen (18) years - even gone out a torpedo hole when his sub collided with a whale. He never wanted a commission as he always said "The Chiefs run the Navy" and he remained a Chief Petty Officer (Chief Torpedoman) happy as he could be. He was stationed many years in Pearl Harbor where I was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. After his first retirement, we moved from San Diego, CA back to Charleston, WV, where he was recalled into the Navy right after Pearl Harbor was bombed and WW II began. We went to Norfolk, VA Naval Air Station, where he again taught, to Montauk, L.I., NY, to Fort Lauderdale, FL Naval Air Station and he retired at the end of WW II with thirty (30) years.  My parents had a 10-acre orange grove in Davie, FL and in 1946, they sold, and we  moved back to San Diego where family lived. I lived there until 1981 when my husband sold his partnership in the insurance agency and we moved north to Spokane, WA in 1981. John and I had both been raised with four seasons and we missed them. My parents had also moved to Spokane and they both passed away here.

My Dad would be so very happy to know that others thought his Journal was something worthwhile. Doug is now  the custodian of the original Journal as well as a transcribed copy. His son, Kaleb, now serving in the U.S. Navy (2009-)  is on a nuclear carrier, the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln. John served in the U.S. Marine Corps (Korea) and our middle son, David, served in the U.S. Army (most of which in Germany) so we have definitely been a military family. In fact, my 2nd cousin, who spent so much time with us when we were young, retired as Rear Admiral James V. Bartlett (1917-2006) was a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy in 1940, ending up as #2 man in command of the SeaBees.  He is buried at Arlington.  I remember how much I loved living on the various Naval bases and I definitely was privileged  to learn our country's history during that time period for my Dad always made time for us to visit all the historical places up and down the east coast. It was a wonderful childhood and I was very blessed  to have all our experiences.

April 2010 - I must tell you all - ONE MORE TIME - that if I had not placed queries on the various message boards for Eastern Europe. I would NEVER have been able to find my husband, John's family.  He is first generation Estonian/Hungarian. We are so fortunate that after putting queries out anywhere I could think of, we were contacted by both his Estonian family and the Hungarian family.  It is wonderful to find information about his father, Johann "John" Topp's heritage. We learned that the name had been TOPP since 1803 and the family lived on the family homestead in a small village, Soomra, Estonia, outside Parnu for about 300 years. We were then contacted by another of his cousinsl. Tamara's mother was John's father's niece and she celebrated her 85th birthday recently. Tamara  is a immuninologist at the University of Tartu (working on celiac disease) and speaks about six languages.  She writes regularly, so we also know what her sister, Irina, and daughters are doing. We have also talked to her on the phone.  We also hear from Ennu Pedosk, who is married to John's 3rd cousin, Milvi. He has helped so much in our family research, giving us information as well as translating for me when necessary. He also uses Family Tree Maker as I do, so it makes it extremely easy.
I will be putting up  "John's Page" soon in case there are others out there looking for these families.

I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to use queries. I have taught many classes on this subject and hopefully those that hear me, do get the message and use them.  I have been doing family research since 1974, andI have learned many things on the subjects and topics that we have to know about and I truly believe that QUERY USEAGE is the most important tool and will obtain the greatest success. As I look over the last several things I have written about - it is all about trying to convince you all to use queries. Hope you are doing it.

I cannot tell you how much it has meant to all of us and to think that I actually hestitated in placing that query.  We are in contact often and have learned so much about another lineage of his family. I hope you will take my advice and place those queries any where you can. Go to Cyndi's List and 'let your fingers do the walking', so to speak. There is something there for everyone!


MORE  ABOUT QUERIES!   Also I put several queries on the Hungarian Rootsweb list as well as some message boards looking for this family. His mother's  older brother, Laszlo Bozoki, was the only one who did not come to American but his mother came with her parents and three brothers in April 1921 into New York on the ship Ryndam.  I heard from John's 1st cousin and 2nd cousins once removed. They also sent pictures of themselves  as well as pictures of his family that had been sent to them many years ago. When I found the Bozoki family on the ship manifest, it said they were ethnic Hungarians and their last residence had been in Romania, so that set me off on a different course. We are delighted to learn about his ethnic countries and the family as well as culture and traditions. It is a wonderful experience. So I do encourage you to take the chance and use more queries.
Revisiting High School Days:.
In August 2010, I again went to my class reunion in southern California - and it is wonderful being with all my classmates. It is, always, as if time stood still and we just pick up when we left off.Our class only had 78 in it, a county high school in a beach community, and we were all very close.  As I heard some telling stories of how their fathers and families had been friends for over 3/4 of a century, it struck me how families everywhere are intertwined. Several also wanted to know how to start researching and I took them forms with hints on how to get started.  I would imagine if a class like that would all do their family history, we would find that many of us were related. I know I have  one distant/removed cousin in the class.  I always say - there is no time like the present to get started on your own lineages.  It certainly keeps your brain working.****It is really a very small world!

Back to school days again - I now have a web page for the San Dieguito Class of 1950 in Encinitas, {north San Diego county}, California. I will be adding more pictures as I get them scanned. Stay tuned! Now I have also started a BLOG for our class. I may move all the into/pictures over to the blog as I get used to using that form of communication.


The  Kiddoo/Kildoe/Caldoe/Caddo   Family

. Our cousin, Don Kiddoo, published a continuing history of the family - "Early History of the Scotch-Irish Families - Caldow, Caddow, Caddoo, Kildoo, Kildew and Kiddoo" - a Compendium of Research Findings on the Surnames, Families and Local Histories." If you might have an interest in this, please do email him. I had published an update in 1981 of the same family. You can contact him at

"My Ancestors"(on chart below) shows all of my ahnentafel chart with Kiddoo listed.

I just was given a new site that I really like.  It is the Automated Atlas and you not only see the U.S. in its expansion by years but get a great history lesson, and can also do the same with the Revolutionary War and Overview of WW I. It is U.S. History at it's best and hope you will all check it out.
It is truly wonderful. I got it from the list of the Hacker's Creek Pioneer Descendants (central WV) to which I also belong.

ONE of the purposes of this web site is to find new cousins.   I will try to make these pages interesting and I certainly welcome any comments.  Hopefully you will come by often and I sure hope you will find a connection to some of  the ancestors on my ahnentafel chart!! When you do - email me.

  Click on the name to see  that particular page .......

My Ancestors
VA/WVa Queries
San Dieguito (CA) Mustangs Class of 1950 

I have put on my own two lineages of Bush families. Hopefully that will help other family researchers and also attract others who are working on these same families. Maybe we can pool our information or thoughts and make some progress in our research....... I just wish all genealogists would do the same thing.   Let me hear your comments on the Bush family. I have been lucky to have other Bush cousins connect me recently, so I know this works.

    A friend wonders why it is called a "Home Page" so she prefers to think of it as a "Home Book", and I am inclined to agree with her.    Seems like I just keep on adding pages. Is there ever an end to this? Doubt it! Ahnentafel Charts!     Do you know what they are?  The word means  "German Tables" but you can click here for a good definition.
      You can tell at a glance on  my ahnentafel chart,  how many of my ancestors were early settlers in western Virginia. They will appear with a  **  in front of them.  There are so many of them, I wanted to make it easy for others to find them and I'm hoping you will find a common ancestor.....

Of  interest to CARPENTER Researchers: 
A Y-DNA project was started in September 2002 after a Carpenter discussion group had been held in Clearwater, Florida. One item of discussion was how Y-DNA research could help Carpenter genealogy. Some of the most important questions where Y-DNA testing could help were:

This project will grow as members encourage other Carpenters to submit their Y-DNA. There are many Carpenter lines yet to be documented and linked.

For more information about the study contact the project administrator/coordinator: John R. Carpenter.


Do you have ancestors who lived in Virginia or West Virginia?  If so, this is a page that might be of interest to you.  You can click on the birds  (above)to go to that page. I am happy to include queries from researchers who have interests in this particular area.  I can't promise you that having queries published online will provide you with some answers, but I can certainly guarantee that if people don't know where you NEED help, then you sure won't find any answers.   I have found many answers to my "research brick walls" just by making good usage of queries.  It is one of our most important tools to use!

The following are some of the more interesting bookmarks I have found and believe they are of help to all researchers. When I find new ones, I will list them also..  Hope you will visit these links!

Family History Library - from Salt Lake City, Utah, now have their files on line. It  is pretty busy, but just have patience. It is going to be soooo  useful to all of us. This means we will be using their I.G.I. (International Genealogical Index), Family Ancestry files, and etc. on line.   Eventually (in our lifetime),  we will be able to do more searches - Like their complete card catalog. So you can do all that from home. Go try it now!

   Some new (and old) sites that are beneficial for all researchers!

Rootsweb - The Internet's oldest and largest genealogy site - you name it, it's got it.
U.S. Genweb -Archives - Table of Contents:
Social Security Death Index - hosted by - to search this index is free.
Cyndi's List - probably the most helpful site for all-around research on the web.
The Soundex Machine - The Soundex is a coded surname index that is the way a name sounds rather than being  spelled.
The Olive Tree - has lots of genealogical information, including ship passenger lists.
Catalog of the Library of Congress
The National Archives has a new URL -
Hacker's Creek Pioneer Descendants - Families who originated in Hacker's Creek - the central area of W.Va.
Genealogy Forum's Home Page:
U.S. Genweb -Archives - Table of Contents:
Virginia Genealogy:
Ancestry   -  genealogical search site.
Library of Virginia Home Page
Deciphering Old Handwriting:
Bible Records On-Line:
Newpapers on the Web:
Webster's Dictionary On Line:
Genealogy Dictionary:
List of Occupations: