Creativity Runs In Taylor Swift’s Family… Turns Out, She’s Related To Emily Dickinson!

A two-photo collage. The first shows a close up of Taylor Swift looking off to the side as she poses on a red carpet. The second image shows a black-and-white photo of Emily Dickinson.

Like Emily Dickinson, Taylor Swift is known for her ability to spin prose that deeply connects with others. Turns out, their connection to one another runs much deeper than their creativity! According to the genealogy company Ancestry, Swift and Dickinson are related. More specifically, the two of them 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 shares with TODAY.

A black-and-white photo of Emily Dickinson. She has a slight smile on her face as she sits in a chair and rests her arm on a table that has a book.
Wikimedia Commons

This means that for six generations, Swift’s ancestors lived in Connecticut. From there, a part of her family moved to northwestern Pennsylvania where they joined the Swift family line. Long-time fans of Swift recognize just how incredible this connection is with many noting how many times the superstar has referenced the famous 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 in 2022 when she received the Songwriter-Artist of the Decade Award from the Nashville Songwriters Association International.

Close up of Taylor Swift looking off to the side as she poses on a red carpet.
Wikimedia Commons

This isn’t where Dickinson’s influence ends — Swift’s album, Evermore, seems to be inspired by her, too. There are a few reasons for this, with the first being the release date of the album: December 10, 2020, Dickinson’s birthday.

The second comes from the title of the album itself, as well as the song with the same name. In Dickinson’s poem, One Sister Have I in Our House, she uses the word “forevermore.” This is similar to Swift’s titles, of course, but a repeated line in the song reads, “That this pain would be for evermore.” When sung, it sounds especially close to Dickinson’s use of “forevermore.”

Tweet from user @spinninglike:

Finding out that Taylor is related to Emily Dickinson was not on my 2024 bingo card but it makes so much sense

Even before Evermore, Swift was making references to the 19th century poet. She says that inspiration for her Folklore album came from an idea of “this girl sleepwalking through the forest in a nightgown in 1830,” which, coincidentally or not, is the year that Dickinson was born.

As surprising as this news is to most, for Swift fans like myself, this makes perfect sense. Okay, so this reveal actually is still shocking, but it also makes so much sense.

“This feels wholly unfair,” the Emily Dickinson International Society jokingly shares on Twitter, “and simultaneously completely believable.”

You can find the sources of this story’s featured image here and here!

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