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I am fascinated with my ancestors of yesteryear and I search for interesting stories of actual events that happened in my ancestors lives.     i am at a standstill with my Grand Aunt Mildred Catherine LaVoy, she was my grandmother’s sister on my fathers side.  According to her obituary, she was an accomplished ballerina that traveled worldwide.  My uncle always bragged about her dancing career and how she repeatedly traveled around the world.  My uncle Bob kept in touch with her and they called each from time to time.  I would like to find media information about her dancing or research her dancing career and find old photos of her performances on stage,   Can anyone please help me find out about her career as a ballerina?  Please help me add her story to my family tree.

 I need help in how to research a performer from the 1930’s and 40’s who lived in the Chicago area and lived in Evanston IL for a time with her sister Therese Conover LaVoy.  Mildred LaVoy born in Rhinelander Wisconsin on 1/2/1908 and died there in her home town in 11/30/1999. Please, please help me find out about her dancing career.


Susan Dzialo Hazelquist 

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What a bunch of dead beats....
It doesn’t do any good to introduce yourself every body ignores you for days on end......
Not even a hello and welcome...☹️

You don't mention where Mildred lived but the first place you should look, if you haven't already is  newspapers. Several online digitized newspaper websites should be checked including and GenealogyBank. Conduct multiple searches including using her name and the company she danced for. Also, did she have a professional name that she used? Search for that name as well.

The types of records you are looking for are most likely housed in an archive collection. You can search archival collections using the catalog ArchiveGrid ( You're less likely to find something using her name in an archive collection catalog (unless she was famous or donated items to a repository). This is where a search using the dance company she belonged to would be important.

For your Chicago research, The Newberry Library has a large genealogy collection in Chicago. You may want to consider consulting them for ideas. (

I wish you luck. This research promises to be interesting. One last thing. Please don't resort to name calling. When you post to a message board it typically does not result in a quick answer for all kinds of reasons. Crowdsourcing a problem is a great idea but it's important to remember that it's best done on several forums and that questions may take time to answer because the right people with the answer you need, have to see it. 

Take care,

Gena Philibert-Ortega

Director, Genealogy Services

The National Institute for Genealogical Studies


Hey Susan,

I am also interested in early 1900's show business.  I have a few family members that worked German stock theatre and a few that worked behind the curtains.  Broadway, Ziegfeld Follies, B&B Circus, not sure where else.  I have found a patent that my electrician ancestor helped to invent (theatre floor lights) and also theatre bills with his name in them.  Electrician, Set designer, seamstresses.  My great grandparents even used to have Jimmy Durante at their home for meals quite frequently.  Very neat stories.  Only 1 photograph tho.  My mother was a child in the 1930's and the family used to bring her home things when shows closed.  She got real looking dolls that were used as babies in the shows, all sorts of things but unfortunately the family moved all over NYC and got rid of everything.  Need some time to searching this info again.  Talk to you soon...Ann

I have done a bit of research in the newspaper archives I have access to, and I'm not finding any evidence of her dancing, is it possible she danced under another name? I found her on the 1930 census living with her sister Teresa's family in Illinois, her occupation seemed to have something to do with furniture?



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