Sarah Hyland on Her Engagement Ring, Ancestry, and Style Connection to Haley Dunphy
Sarah Hyland and husband Wells Adams have enamored fans with their red carpet appearances, lavish California wedding ceremony, and stunning honeymoon photos. Their latest adventure is a deep dive into their family histories with Ancestry, where they uncovered facts via a game show-style Q&A called "2 Lies & A Leaf."
The duo was surprised to discover that "Bachelor in Paradise" bartender Adams's roots can be traced back to the American Revolution. Hyland, on the other hand, was thrilled but not shocked to learn that her great-great-grandmother, Leona Hawkins, was a milliner. "This is all checking out. Sarah loves hats," Adams exclaims in the video.
Hyland loves hats so much, in fact, that she made a connection between her love of hats and that of her "Modern Family character Haley Dunphy. "If I can say out loud with confidence that I look good in hats, obviously Haley looks better in hats, because Haley's just a better looking version of myself," she told POPSUGAR.
Another similarity to the Dunphy story arc? Leona's sister Lucy was a doctor and Haley's sister Alex majored in biochemistry, both sharing a love for the sciences. "[Their occupations] show that they're very similar to Haley and Alex, even though Haley and Alex are not real people," Hyland shares. "It goes to show that that type of sister dynamic really does come from a place of truth, and that place of truth lies within my ancestors, which is really cool."
Above: Haley Dunphy wears a hat in "Modern Family" season six.
Ahead, watch Hyland and Adams play "2 Lies & A Leaf," and read our full interview with Hyland, where she talks about her ancestry, her love of hats, and the story behind her engagement ring.
Sarah Hyland and Wells Adams Discover Their Family Histories
On Learning About Her Family History
POPSUGAR: What excited you about the prospect of learning about your ancestors?
Sarah Hyland: For the first Christmas that Wells and I spent together, my father-in-law gave all his kids and their significant others Ancestry kits, and I've always been interested in the background of my family. When Ancestry reached out and said, "Do you want to play a game of who knows their family better?" Wells and I are very competitive people, so we said, "Hell yeah." I think it's really important to know where you came from and fun to see traits that were passed down to you hundreds of years later.
My favorite learning was that my second great uncle on my maternal side of the family rode on top of a freight train to Galveston, TX, where he saved [...] people from the 1900 floods. If I saw that in a movie, I'd be like, "OK, yeah, he did that. Because that's so believable." But it actually did happen; there was a newspaper clipping about it and everything. Sometimes life is stranger than fiction, and even better than TV.
On Her "Modern Family"
PS: Wells asked your "Modern Family," as well as your real family, for permission to propose to you. Did they also get to weigh in on the ring?
SH: I think Wells talked to one of his sisters and one of his brothers about it, but I don't know if he showed anybody the ring. I know he didn't show my parents because when he asked for both of their blessings, he hadn't gotten the ring yet. But everyone knew what kind of ring I wanted.
PS: What other similarities do you have to Haley Dunphy?
SH: We both love lots of heels — anything that will make you tall. I also think it's crazy that [my great-great grandmother] Leona Hawkins was a hat milliner and her sister was a doctor. That's very similar to Haley and Alex [played by Ariel Winter, above], even though Haley and Alex aren't real people. It just goes to show that that type of sister dynamic really does come from a place of truth.
PS: Did Wells know more about his own family history, or the Dunphy family's?
SH: Originally, he knew more about the Dunphy family history than his own. But that's also very common with people. Most people know more about TV families than their own. I was told Ancestry performed a survey and nearly half of people can't even name all four of their grandparents. Wells thinks that's because most people have pet names for their grandparents, like Papa, so they never learn their real names.
On Her Love of Hats
PS: You love hats, just like your great-great-grandmother, the milliner. What's your go-to style?
SH: I love a wide-brimmed hat with a really nice feather. My buddy that I just spent New Year's Eve with was wearing a custom one like that from Kemo Sabe in Aspen, where you can pick what type of feathers, ribbon, or rope you want. Then they can put your initials in it. After he explained it to me, I decided I need to go to Aspen just to get a hat at this point.
PS: What's your take on the fuzzy bucket hat trend?
SH: I think I have one, I just haven't worn it yet. Look, if it keeps you warm, I'm all for practicality, people.
PS: Are there any vintage hat trends you're into?
SH: I love a fascinator.
PS: Did you incorporate hats into any of your bridal looks at the wedding or on your honeymoon?
SH: No hats at the wedding. I did not do a "Parent Trap" bridal moment. But I actually lost a hat at the airport in the Maldives on our honeymoon. It was one I got in Mexico on my bachelorette trip that I really loved. I guess I have to go back to Mexico. I only travel to buy hats, apparently.