Everything You Need to Know About Taylor Swift’s Family

When it comes to Taylor Swift, we could spend all day combing through her lyrics for clues about her family, friends, lovers, etc.

Remember when she crafted a sentimental paean to her mom, Andrea, with “The Best Day”—which also features shout-outs to dad Scott and her younger brother, Austin? How could we ever forget her tribute to her grandmother, “Marjorie,” which features an actual recording of her grandma belting out opera notes in the background. (You could definitely say a love of singing runs in this family.)

But although we can learn quite a bit from the Grammy winner’s songs, there is so much about Swift’s ancestry that is not spelled out in her lyrics, from her grandpa’s military history to her great-great-grandparents’ music store. (Okay, seriously—it’s like music was embedded in her genes.) Read on to see everything we know about Taylor Swift’s family.


Andrea Swift

taylor swift and mom at 50th academy of country music awards show

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The woman who brought Taylor Swift into this world is also the family member who gets the most personal recognition in Swift’s discography. In fact, Tay-Tay has dedicated two different songs to her mom: “The Best Day” and “Soon You’ll Get Better” featuring the Chicks. The first is an ode to their tight-knit relationship and the ways in which her mom guided Swift through the rough adolescent years. The second track is a more somber number, penned when Swift found out Andrea’s cancer had returned, in 2019.

Andrea Gardner Swift was born in 1958 in Pennsylvania. As a young adult, she started a career as a mutual fund marketing executive. Later, she became a stay-at-home mom.

When naming the daughter who would become an international superstar, Andrea and husband Scott chose Taylor because it was androgynous. “My mom thought it was cool that if you got a business card that said ‘Taylor,’ you wouldn’t know if it was a guy or a girl,” the singer explained in 2009. At the time, Andrea dreamt her daughter might follow in her footsteps: “She wanted me to be a businessperson in a business world.”

Of course, Swift has proven herself plenty business-savvy over the past two decades, whether she’s rerecording her masters or securing unprecedented film distribution deals. And who has always been by her side? Andrea.

When Swift was just a tween pursuing her songwriting dreams, it was Andrea who drove her all over the country to hand out demos. “My mom waited in the car with my little brother while I knocked on doors up and down [Nashville’s] Music Row,” Swift told Entertainment Weekly in 2008. “I would say, ‘Hi, I’m Taylor. I’m 11. I want a record deal; call me.’”

On Swift’s first few tours, Andrea famously walked through the crowds and picked out excited fans to meet the singer after the show. She also welcomed her daughter at the 2015 Academy of Country Music Awards, saying, “I’ve watched this milestone artist from the time she was a tangled-hair little girl … full of imagination and creativity, until right now, when she prepares for her next world tour. I am a very proud mom.”

Most recently, Andrea was spotted at a few Eras Tour shows, cheering on her kid with Scott. She also makes cameos in four of Swift’s videos: “Beautiful Eyes,” “I’m Only Me When I’m With You,” “The Best Day,” and “Christmas Tree Farm.”

Scott Swift

taylor swift and dad scott at 2011 cmt artists of the year event

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While he may not have gotten as many shout-outs as Andrea so far, Swifties know well that the singer’s dad, Scott Kingsley Swift, has also been by her side throughout her career. Just look at her lines about him in “The Best Day”: “I have an excellent father / His strength is making me stronger.”

In fact, Scott ended up moving his job across the country when it became clear his older child had a good chance of becoming a successful musician. For decades, he has worked as a financial advisor for wealth management firm the Swift Group, under Merrill Lynch. To help his daughter’s career, Scott moved his business to the family’s new home of Hendersonville, Tennessee, right outside of Nashville.

You can read about Scott’s journey on the official Merrill Lynch website, where it says: “Scott Swift began his relationship with Merrill as a client of the Firm in 1966. Scott became captivated with the financial markets after using money he earned from his lawn-mowing business to purchase his first stock. In 1980, he joined Merrill Lynch Wealth Management as a Financial Advisor and over the past four decades he has built a large, highly-skilled, passionate team of financial professionals.”

As People noted in 2009, Scott and his daughter have a very playful relationship. In fact, Swift revealed her father’s jokester side in a MySpace post from that year: “My dad is along the ride for this trip. He’s a social butterfly, and loves being on tour. He loves it so much, he thinks it’s absolutely hilarious to embarrass me as much as possible.”

She went on: “For example, [I’m] walking into the hotel lobby after returning from dinner. It’s quiet, serene, beautiful when…Screaming voice from out of nowhere: ‘HEY! THAT’S TAYLOR SWIFT!!’ Me: ‘Dad. Please stop doing that.’”

Clearly, she didn’t mind the jokes too much, though, because she added, “It’s pretty priceless having my dad out here with me.”

For her Eras Tour, Swift sent the gags right back, when she made Scott a special VIP pass, which read: “D.O.H. Pass (Dad of Headliner). All-Access.” Swift shared an image of the pass to her Instagram Story, writing, “Made my Dad’s tour credential. We are a small family business.”

taylor swift and dad at kansas city chiefs v new england patriots

Kathryn Riley//Getty Images

Swift’s pops has also been spotted with her at Kansas City Chiefs games, cheering on her new beau, Travis Kelce. Although Scott is a Pennsylvania native, he must approve of this boyfriend, because he’s even gone so far as to wear Chiefs colors.

Austin Swift

taylor swift and austin swift at 2011 people's choice awards

Christopher Polk//Getty Images

Although Swift’s confessional lyrics often feel like sage wisdom passed down from an older sister, only one person can actually lay claim to that special connection: her younger brother, Austin.

Austin was born in March 1992, making him a little over two years younger than Swift. He works as an actor and producer, but while he followed in his sister’s footsteps and joined the entertainment industry, his career trajectory has gone a little differently.

Born in West Reading, Pennsylvania, Austin spent most of his childhood outside of the spotlight (unless he was attending an event with his chart-topping sister). His first public appearance alongside Swift was when she brought him to the 2009 CMT Music Awards. A couple of years later, he accompanied her to both the 2011 People’s Choice Awards and the 2011 American Music Awards (and has made plenty of other red carpet appearances since).

That same year, Austin finished his first year at the University of Notre Dame. He transferred to Vanderbilt the following fall, before transferring back to Notre Dame and graduating in 2015. Austin studied film in college, and performed in plays like Dead Man’s Cell Phone and Six Characters in Search of an Author.

Since 2016, he has appeared in a number of films, including I.T. (2016) alongside Pierce Brosnan and Live by Night (2016), which starred Ben Affleck, Elle Fanning, Brendan Gleeson, Chris Messina, Sienna Miller, Zoe Saldana, and Chris Cooper. When he made his acting debut, his supportive sister marked the occasion with a since-deleted Instagram post, which read, “My brother @austinkingsleyswift just acted in his first movie and I’m all proud and stuff.”

Early in Swift’s career, Austin and her parents appeared in archival footage in a few of her videos. However, in recent years, he has taken on a different role behind the camera, as a producer. (He produced Swift’s clip for “I Bet You Think About Me,” directed by Blake Lively.) He also co-produced 2019 horror flick We Summon the Darkness.

Currently, Austin is in a relationship with model Sydney Ness, whom he has been linked to since September 2022.

Marjorie Finlay

Musical talent must run in the family, because Swift’s maternal grandmother, Marjorie Moehlenkamp Finlay, was a famous opera singer and television star.

At age 22, Marjorie was working as a receptionist at a bank in St. Louis, but everything changed after she won a singing competition on the radio show Music With the Girls in 1950. The win sent her on tour for 15 months, and she eventually had her own TV show in Puerto Rico, where she lived and also performed at live venues.

Marjorie married the president of Raymond Construction Company, Robert Finlay, in 1952, and subsequently gave birth to their two daughters, Alison and Andrea (Swift’s mom), in 1957 and 1958, respectively.

Marjorie died in in 2003, and Swift has made references to her grandmother throughout her career. In addition to crafting the song “Marjorie” about her (and using Marjorie’s operatic vocals in the background), Swift also portrayed her grandmother in the music video for “Wildest Dreams.” Meanwhile, the Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) vault track “Timeless” was reportedly inspired by the relationships between Swift’s two sets of grandparents, as you can see in the lyric video for the song, as both Marjorie and Robert Finlay, as well as paternal grandparents Rose and Archie Dean Swift, make an appearance through vintage photographs.

Archie Dean Smith

Speaking of Swift’s grandparents, paternal grandfather Archie (who went by his middle name, Dean) was the inspiration behind her Folklore track “Epiphany.”

The song is a tribute to workers on the front line during the COVID-19 pandemic, telling a story about how medical professionals and soldiers continue doing their jobs in the face of immense loss and trauma.

One of the inspirations for the track was the story of Dean, who fought in the Battle of Guadalcanal during World War II as part of the U.S. Marine Corps.

Swift talked about making the song, as well as her memories of her grandfather, in an interview with Entertainment Weekly in 2020. “I wanted to write about him for a while,” she said. “[My grandfather] died when I was very young, but my dad would always tell this story that the only thing that his dad would ever say about the war was when somebody would ask him, ‘Why do you have such a positive outlook on life?’ My grandfather would reply, ‘Well, I’m not supposed to be here. I shouldn’t be here.’ My dad and his brothers always kind of imagined that what he had experienced was really awful and traumatic, and that he’d seen a lot of terrible things. So when they did research, they learned that he had fought at the battles of Guadalcanal, at Cape Gloucester, at Talasea, at Okinawa. He had seen a lot of heavy fire and casualties—all of the things that nightmares are made of. He was one of the first people to sign up for the war. But you know, these are things that you can only imagine that a lot of people in that generation didn’t speak about because (a) they didn’t want people that they came home to to worry about them, and (b) it just was so bad that it was the actual definition of unspeakable.”

Julius and Delia Mayer

You can hear Swift’s fondness for the Empire State in her 1989 track “Welcome to New York,” and it’s no wonder she loves the Big Apple so much—because apparently, she has roots in New York.

In June 2023, Angela Keppel reported on this part of Swift’s family history in a Patreon post titled, “What does Taylor Swift have to do with Buffalo anyways?” And in January 2024, The Post-Journal confirmed Swift has family ties to Dunkirk, in the westernmost part of New York state, based on information from a native who is an expert in genealogy.

Turns out Swift’s great-great-grandparents Julius and Delia Mayer used to live in the small city on the shore of Lake Erie. And better still, they owned and operated Mayer Music Store, on the 100 and 200 block of Central Avenue.

Julius and Delia would eventually welcome their daughter Eleanor Mayer, who would go on to marry Lance Gardner Finlay and give birth to Swift’s grandfather, Robert Finlay. The superstar has obviously always had music in her blood.

Headshot of Joel Calfee

Joel is the editorial and social media assistant for HarpersBAZAAR.com, where he covers all things celebrity news. When he steps away from the keyboard, you can likely find him singing off-key at concerts, scavenging thrift stores for loud wardrobe staples, or perusing bookstores for the next great gay romance novel.