Northern Ireland

Taylor Swift: Pop star’s ancestral ties to Derry revealed

Taylor Swift is gearing up for her Dublin gigs at the end of June

Taylor Swift fans already had to registered last month to be in with a chance of buying tickets. Picture by PA
Taylor Swift's Derry ancestral links have been uncovered. Picture by PA

AS pop sensation Taylor Swift prepares for her long-awaited Era’s tour to Ireland new research has revealed her ancestral ties to Derry.

EPIC, The Irish Emigration Museum, with their genealogy partners The Irish Family History Centre, has unveiled a captivating tale that unfolded aboard the ship Amy sailing from Derry on June 11, 1836.

Dressmaker Susan Davis and weaver Francis Gwynn (both 21) embarked on a journey across the Atlantic, seeking their fortunes in America.

After a two-month voyage the couple settled in Philadelphia, marrying in 1839, raising a family of six children, two girls and four boys.

Francis Gwynn established a successful soap-making business, and the family prospered, until their idyllic life in Philadelphia was touched by tragedy.

Five of the Gwynn children predeceased their parents. Only one, Mrs. Mary Douglas (née Gwynn), Taylor Swift’s great-great-grandmother, outlived her parents.

'The Love story before Love story' is available online
'The Love story before Love story' is available online

Aileesh Carew, CEO of EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum, said: “In tracing Taylor Swift’s roots back to 1836, EPIC exemplifies its vital role in preserving the rich tapestry of our past, ensuring that each individual thread contributes to the vibrant narrative of our collective history.

“As audiences prepare to witness Taylor’s performances in Ireland, we invite visitors to visit and experience the moving and unforgettable stories of those who left the island of Ireland, and how they influenced and shaped the world.”

In December 1886, Mary buried her father, in February 1887 she buried her mother.

Fiona Fitzsimons, Director at the Irish Family History Centre, situated at EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum, said, “The tale of Susan Davis and Francis Gwynn beautifully exemplifies the interconnectedness of family history and global narratives. Their journey is not just a personal love story, but a testament to the resilience and courage of countless Irish emigrants.”

Swift’s family tree also has Scottish, German and Italian and 17th-century English heritage.

To learn more about ‘The Love Story Before Love Story’, and to download an exclusive poster created by Irish illustrator Lauren O’ Neill, visit