As Swifties geared up for the Eras Tour sold-out Irish concerts in June 2024, the EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum looked into Taylor Swift's family's links to Ireland including an incredible love story.

On the weekend of June 28, 2024, Ireland's capital city of Dublin welcomed the juggernaut that is Taylor Swift's Eras Tour as hundreds of thousands of Swifties attended her three sold-out shows at the Aviva Stadium.

Swift has been known to visit Ireland often for quiet breaks, but ahead of her long-awaited concerts in Dublin, the EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum looked into her Irish ancestry and her family's journey to the United States. 

They link their research to her hit song "Love Story," the lead single from her second album "Fearless." They write that "on September 12, 2008, Taylor Swift rose to fame with her single ‘Love Story’.

"This was her first exploration of the themes of romance, personal growth, and in some respects, heartbreak and tragedy. However, this wasn’t the beginning of her relationship with these themes. There was a love story before ‘Love Story.'"

The genealogy experts at EPIC reveal that "on Saturday 11th of June 1836, two young people emigrated from Ireland to the USA, aboard the ship AMY sailing from Derry. Along with some friends, they sought their fortunes in Philadelphia.

"Susan Davis was a 21-year-old dressmaker, Francis Gwynn, a 21-year-old weaver. Their chance encounter sewed the seams of a tale that would transcend generations, and create a global impact far greater than either could have ever imagined."

The pair completed a two-month voyage across the Atlantic and arrived in Philadelphia on August 20. 

While researchers are unclear if Susan and Francis departed from Ireland together and then went their separate ways or stayed in touch they did discover that the couple married three years after their arrival. Susan and Francis have six children - Ann, John, William, Francis, Joseph, and Mary.

According to EPIC: "Sadly, five of those children predeceased Susan and Francis, they were survived by daughter Mary Gwynn, who is Taylor Swift’s great-great-grandmother. Mary laid the loving couple to rest, a mere two months apart. Some might speculate the latter died of a broken heart, or that might just be folklore.

"Susan and Francis’ story serves as a wonderful reminder that love can help us endure the toughest journeys, a theme so often encapsulated in Taylor’s lyrics. What would that young couple, who traversed the Atlantic in the 1800s, think of their great-great-great-granddaughter’s stratospheric rise to fame? Immense pride, no doubt."

The Dublin Emigration Museum also discovered Swift's links to Dublin: "In 1866, Taylor Swift’s great-great-grandfather, George Findlay, enlisted in the Royal Navy and later settled in the UK after meeting Emma Maria Whiffin in South Africa. Their son George was born in Southampton, but they separated shortly after.

"He then recorded himself as a bachelor when he married Louisa Anna Darling in Dublin in 1880. The Findlay family, with their artisan roots, were members of Dublin’s Hosier’s Guild for at least three generations, moving through neighborhoods like Phibsborough, Portobello, and Harold’s Cross as their fortunes improved."

Speaking about these genealogical finds, CEO of EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum, Aileesh Carew, 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."