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Is Taylor Swift related to Emily Dickinson? How the tortured poets are linked.

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Headshot of Taylor Swift

USA Today, March 2024

All’s fair in love and poetry. Taylor Swift and iconic American poet, Emily Dickinson, are distant cousins. According to new data from 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). From poetry to business, college classes offer insights on ‘Swiftology.’

“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.'”

Continue reading at USA Today.

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