Taylor Swift is related to Emily Dickinson: See family tree – USA TODAY

All’s fair in love and poetry.
Taylor Swift and iconic American poet, Emily Dickinson, are distant cousins.
According to new data from Ancestry.com released Monday, “The Tortured Poets Department” singer and Dickinson are sixth cousins, three times removed. With family trees, “removed” means you and a cousin are one generation higher or lower. So three times removed means three generations apart.
“The remarkable connection between Taylor Swift and Emily Dickinson is just one example of the incredible things you can discover when you explore your past,” Jennifer Utley, the director of research for Ancestry, said in a press release Monday. “Even if we don’t know it, our pasts can influence our present.”
The for-profit American genealogy company used its vast records to find that Swift and Dickinson are both descendants of Jonathan Gillette, a 17th century immigrant and early settler of Windsor, Connecticut (Swift’s ninth great-grandfather and Dickinson’s sixth great-grandfather).
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“It’s really exciting,” says Dr. Catherine Fairfield, a writing professor at Northeastern University who is an expert in gender studies and literature. “Swifties have been really interested in the overlaps between Taylor Swift and Emily Dickinson, especially since the release of ‘Evermore.'”
In 2020, Swift made an announcement on Emily Dickson’s birthday of Dec. 10 that she would release her ninth studio album “Evermore” at midnight. The “tortured poet” is familiar with Dickinson’s work and has been quoted about how her writing process is inspired, “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.”
“They’ve proven their timelessness,” says Fairfield. “Taylor Swift has shown her writing talent over the years and universities are studying her in real time. Emily Dickinson is a hallmark of English literature and poetics. There’s a good chance we’ll see both of them studied for a very long time.”
Swift’s eleventh era, “The Tortured Poets Department,” comes out on April 19, so the timing is particularly perfect. Fairfield says the true winner in all of this is poetry: “2024 is a turn to poetry and I love it.”
Follow Bryan West, the USA TODAY Network’s Taylor Swift reporter, on InstagramTikTok and X as @BryanWestTV.

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