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Honouring Shania Twain with a Bespoke Engraved Guitar Showcasing Her Irish Ancestry

In celebration of her Irish roots, Shania Twain, currently captivating audiences across Ireland and the UK, has been bestowed a bespoke guitar by EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum. Crafted by acclaimed Irish illustrator David Rooney and researched by genealogy partners at The Irish Family History Centre, this exquisite instrument intricately weaves together the narrative of Shania’s profound Irish lineage through its artistic motifs.

During her recent visit to Ireland, Shania Twain was honoured at Malahide Castle, where EPIC and The Irish Family History Centre presented her with this special guitar. Adorned with intricate designs symbolising her family’s journey from Ireland to Canada, the guitar deeply moved Shania, who expressed her heartfelt appreciation for its thoughtful craftsmanship and the meaningful gesture.

The presentation of the guitar at Malahide Castle resonated with both personal and historical significance, highlighting the enduring impact of Irish emigration on families like Shania’s. The bespoke guitar stands as a lasting tribute to her heritage, embodying the spirit of resilience and cultural pride that defines her remarkable journey.

Shania Twain, born Eilleen Regina Edwards, revealed in her 2011 autobiography, “From This Moment On,” that she was named after her Irish grandmother, Eilleen Pearce, who was born in County Kildare and played a significant role in raising her. This presentation not only honours Shania’s musical achievements but also her deep-rooted connection to her Irish ancestry.

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Aileesh Carew, CEO of EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum, expressed her joy at welcoming Shania back to Ireland:

“Shania, you are a prime example of the global impact of Irish emigration. We are proud to present this bespoke genealogy to you, told in a new and innovative way. Your music has touched millions around the world, and we hope this guitar, which tells the story of your ancestors, intrigues, excites, and informs you as much as it did us during our research. We believe that this unique piece will serve as a cherished reminder of your roots and the incredible journey of your Irish ancestors.”

Fiona Fitzsimons, Director at the Irish Family History Centre, highlighted the special significance of this project:

“Shania’s family history is a testament to the resilience and spirit of her ancestors. Her family narrative spans the battles of the 1798 Rebellion, to the mountains of County Down, and the plains of County Kildare, to Ontario, Canada, and is truly inspiring. Presenting your family history through this unique guitar is a special honour for us, combining the art of storytelling with the beauty of music. We hope this bespoke creation offers you a deeper connection to your heritage.”

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The guitar features several elements that represent Shania’s family history:

Triskele: An ancient Celtic symbol dating back to the Neolithic era, found at Newgrange, County Meath. It symbolises the connection to Shania’s grandmother Eilleen Pearce’s home in Kildare.

Salmon: Representing Shania’s return to Ireland and the wisdom in Irish mythology.

Fionn mac Cumhaill: Reflecting the legendary spirit of the warriors of the Curragh, County Kildare, akin to Shania’s conquering spirit.

Kilkenny Castle: Symbolising Thomas Edwards, Shania’s great-great-great-great-grandfather. A soldier who fought at Waterloo, and was pensioned with land in Canada. Thomas became a ‘military settler’ in Beckwith, Ontario, and was the lynch-pin in a group of migrant families from Kilkenny and Wexford (Edwards, Butler, Garland, Kidd, Leach, and Saunders) that make up the tapestry of Shania’s Irish ancestry.

Sea Serpents: Mythological symbols of resilience and the ability to adapt to changing and challenging environments, echoed in both Shania’s emigrant history and through her lyrics.

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Discover your Irish roots at EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum

Want to find out more about your family history? Make sure you visit our partner, Irish Family History Centre. Located on-site, their expert genealogists can help you uncover the story of your family’s history and trace your family ancestry.

The Love Story before Love Story

Last week, EPIC also unveiled new research into Taylor Swift’s Irish roots, which revealed that two of Swift’s paternal great-great-great-grandparents, Susan Davis, a dressmaker, and Francis Gwynn, a weaver, emigrated from Derry, in the north of Ireland, to the United States in 1836. More on ‘The Love Story Before Love Story’ can be found here.