By Don McAlavy: Columnist
Harold Kilmer is well known in Clovis, not only for the music he makes in several bands with his fiddle, but also for the history and genealogy work he has taken on, plus his work to establish the only historical society in Curry County, the High Plains Historical Foundation, in 1972.
The New Mexico Genealogy Web Project which Kilmer will become head of starting Jan. 1, was formed 10 years ago. The goal of the NMGenWeb site is to provide free genealogy information for researchers for New Mexico. Kilmer is the fifth state coordinator for New Mexico. The first four state coordinators were Jo Fox, Leon Moya, Susan Bellomo and Karen Mitchell.
Kilmer says he will perform his duties by following the USGenWeb bylaws and accepted parliamentary protocol; and will be doing a lot of hard work. Not in the state capitol, but at his own home here in Clovis.
The New Mexico county coordinators cover 33 counties, some only serve one county but others take on several counties with Kilmer taking on six east-side counties including Curry County. Their jobs are to answer queries they receive on their Web sites. They try to find answers for the queries they receive. The queries run from wanting to know where their great-grandfather is buried, the date of his death and where he was buried. Some people with queries from around the country even ask to find their grandfather’s cattle brands.
Some want the coordinator to find the birth date and marriage date of their great aunt and uncle. The coordinators do their best. None of them are paid.
Kilmer says he has been a county coordinator for Curry County since June 1997 and says he has lived in Curry County since 1932 except for a short time in 1953 and 54 when he was a soldier in Hanau, Germany; Orleans, France, and Barcelona, Spain. (he and I were at the same camp in France for some six months and never knew they were both there together!)
All the New Mexico county coordinators help each other. Kilmer’s other county coordinators are: Susan Bellomo works five counties; Sam-Quito Padilla has four counties; Pat Bennett, three counties; Angela Lewis, two counties; Karen Mitchell one county; Kellie Crnkovich two counties; Elsa Altshool one county; Richard Wilkinson one county, Lois Greene one county, J. Myles Felihkatubbe two counties; Harold Kilmer six counties and Don McAlavy with two counties. Three counties are up for adoption.
Kilmer will be a popular state coordinator. He and I have been buddies since high school in Clovis where we both graduated in 1950. A year or so ago I was chosen to be the Harding County coordinator by Harold Kilmer.