‘Derry girl’ Taylor Swift invited to visit city after research hints at link

US popstar Taylor Swift has been invited to Londonderry by the city’s mayor after research indicated a family connection.

Research suggested this week that the singer, who has dominated the charts with her latest album, The Tortured Poets Department, can trace her family roots to the city.

Ireland’s national broadcaster RTE reported that Swift’s ancestors left Ireland for the US in the 1830s.

Irish Emigration Museum CEO Aileesh Carew said it is well known that Swift’s great-great-grandfather, George Findlay, hailed from Dublin, but they recently discovered a connection to Northern Ireland’s second city.

She said that Susan Davis, a 21-year-old dressmaker and Francis Gwynn, a 21-year-old weaver, emigrated from Derry in 1836. They met on the ship to the US and married in Philadelphia.

They went on to have six children, including Mary Gwynn who was Swift’s great-great-grandmother.

“We were absolutely astounded to find out, in fact, that Taylor Swift is a Derry girl,” she told RTE.

2023 music review
Taylor Swift has family links to Derry, research has suggested (Doug Peters/PA)

Ms Carew said they have commissioned an artist to do an illustration to document the story for the mega star.

Swift is due to arrive in Ireland next week as she brings her Eras tour to Dublin.

She is set to perform in the Aviva Stadium for three nights from Friday June 28 to Sunday June 30.

New mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council
Derry Mayor Lilian Seenoi-Barr (Liam McBurney/PA)

Derry Mayor Lilian Seenoi-Barr said she has written to Swift to invite her to visit the city.

“We are proud to call Taylor a Derry Girl and are hugely excited to extend this invitation to her to help her trace her ancestral journey,” she said.

“C’mon let’s see if we can make this happen.”