Taylor Swift and Emily Dickinson Are Related, Genealogy Company Reveals

Taylor Swift and Emily Dickinson

Photo: imagepressagency/Depositphotos (left); Unknown author via Wikimedia Commons, Public domain (right)

Singer Taylor Swift has long been praised for her compelling and eloquent lyrics, which she has been writing from a young age. Now, it's been revealed that she is related to another prolific American writer—Emily Dickinson. Genealogy company Ancestry has discovered that Swift and Dickinson are sixth cousins, three times removed.

“Swift and Dickinson both descend from a 17th century English immigrant (Swift’s 9th great-grandfather and Dickinson’s 6th great-grandfather who was an early settler of Windsor, Connecticut),” Ancestry shared with Today. “Taylor Swift’s ancestors remained in Connecticut for six generations until her part of the family eventually settled in northwestern Pennsylvania, where they married into the Swift family line.”

Given that New England genealogy can be so thoroughly researched and documented, another interesting connection has been found between Swift and Dickinson. The pop star was named after singer-songwriter James Taylor, who happens to be Dickinson's ninth cousin, five times removed.

But Dickinson and Swift's kinship goes beyond blood, as the singer has previously referenced the poet. “If my lyrics sound like a letter written by Emily Dickinson’s great-grandmother while sewing a lace curtain, that’s me writing in the Quill genre,” Swift said about one of her writing styles while accepting the songwriter-artist of the decade award from the Nashville Songwriters Association International.

Some of Swift's fans have even found some connections to Dickinson throughout her body of work. Her ninth studio album, Evermore, was released on December 10, 2020, which is the poet's birthday. And when discussing the cover of her album Folklore,  Swift told Entertainment Weekly that she had an idea for “this girl sleepwalking through the forest in a nightgown in 1830,” the same year Dickinson was born.

The creative bond is soon to grow even deeper. Swift's eleventh studio album, The Tortured Poets Department, will be released on April 19th. And if there is a writer who deserves a position there, it's certainly the one who, back in the 19th century wrote, “The saddest noise, the sweetest noise, / The maddest noise that grows,— / The birds, they make it in the spring, / At night’s delicious close.”

h/t: [Today]

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Regina Sienra

Regina Sienra is a Staff Writer at My Modern Met. Based in Mexico City, Mexico, she holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications with specialization in Journalism from the National Autonomous University of Mexico. She has 10+ years’ experience in Digital Media, writing for outlets in both English and Spanish. Her love for the creative arts—especially music and film—drives her forward every day.
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