Piers Morgan Family History
Piers Stefan O’Meara, better known as the broadcaster Piers Morgan, was born on March 30th, 1965 to the Irish-born Vincent O’Meara and his English-born wife Gabrielle near Guildford in Surrey.
A few months after his birth, the family moved to the town of Newick in Sussex. However, Piers’s father died in a car accident when Piers was just 11 months old. His mother remarried. The man she married was Glynne Pughe Morgan, a pub landlord, and Piers took his stepfather’s surname. From this unpromising beginning, both Piers and his elder brother Jeremy made a success of their lives.
Jeremy did it in a structured way. He joined the army and rose over his time to be a lieutenant colonel.
Piers did it in an unstructured way. He had come to London to work in newspapers. After a freelance stint at the Sun, its owner – the newspaper magnate Rupert Murdoch – took a shine to him and made him in 1994 the editor of the News of the World at the precocious age of twenty-nine. A year later he left that paper for the editorship of the Daily Mirror where he stayed for nine controversial years.
After his sacking in 2004, he found in TV broadcasting a better outlet for his presentational skills and for putting out his own opinions and views.
In Britain he was a judge on Britain’s Got Talent from 2007 to 2010; hosted the talk show Life Stories from 2009 to 2021; and co-presented ITV’s Good Morning Britain from 2015 to 2021.
And he also made a name for himself in America. He was a judge on America’s Got Talent from 2006 to 2011; won The Celebrity Apprentice US with Donald Trump in 2008; and hosted the CNN chat show Piers Morgan Live from 2011 to 2014.
Irish Roots – The O’Meara Line (1)
Piers’s father bore the Irish surname of O’Meara. This name is an anglicization of the Gaelic O’Meadhra meaning “mirth” or “joy” and described a distinguished territorial sept in the barony of Upper Ormond in Tipperary. They belonged in fact to the north of that county – the centre of their territory being Toomevara, a place-name which embodied their surname Tuaim ui Meadhra.
O’Mearas suffered from English invaders as did other Irish septs. Donal O’Meara accepted English overlordship in 1541. But some later O’Mearas resisted and joined the Irish brigades in France during the 18th century. Interestingly, Barry O’Meara from Tipperary was the surgeon to Napoleon Bonaparte during his exile at St. Helena.
Today the O’Meara numbers in Ireland are around 4,000.
Irish Roots – The O’Meara Line (2)
Piers’s O’Meara line extends a long way back. The forebear of these O’Mearas is said to have been Thady O’Meara, born around 1654 and married to Mary Egan. Their grandson Daniel was born in 1741 in Birr, a market town in the southern part of Kings county (now Offaly) that lived under the shadow of the English Parsons family. Birr is just across from northern Tipperary where the O’Meara sept originated.
The O’Mearas were still at Birr when three O’Meara brothers – William, Michael and Patrick – were born around 1800. William was a successful businessman with a firm of drapers in Birr that he ran with his sons. Michael emigrated to Canada in the 1830’s and lived a long life. And Patrick farmed out at Rathcabban, but died of smallpox in 1854.
Patrick’s son Edward married Margaret Spain around 1875 and remained at Rathcabban. Of their children, Patrick and James were neighboring farmers and Margaret, Ellen and Annie all married farmers of the district. These five siblings in fact lived within a radius of two miles of each other.
William, Mary, and John meanwhile moved to Birr and the family drapery business there. Another son Edward emigrated in 1912 to America where he started his own drapery stores.
John died at Birr on Christmas Day 1938 at the age of forty-nine. His son Vincent, just four at the time, moved with his mother to Galway.
Sadly Vincent had an even shorter life than his father. He had come to England to work as a dentist and married an Irish woman from Sussex. They had two young boys – Jeremy and Piers – when he was killed in a road accident in 1966 at the age of thirty-two.
Piers never knew him. He said much later: “My father came from Galway and had a sister who moved to Offaly and a lot of cousins in Dublin. So I feel very Irish.”
Piers Morgan’s O’Meara Family Tree
- John O’Meara (b. circa 1763) from Birra in Kings county (now Offaly)
- – William O’Meara (1797-1872) m. Mary Keshan
- – Michael O’Meara (1799-1898) m. Julia Madden
- – Patrick O’Meara (1800-1854)
- Patrick O’Meara m. wife unknown
- – Edward O’Meara (1846-1907)
- – William O’Meara (1848-1911)
- – Annie O’Meara (1850-1910) m. James Sullivan
- – Rody O’Meara (1853-1896)
- Edward O’Meara m. Margaret Spain (1846-1931)
- – Patrick O’Meara (1876-1962) m. Margaret Donoghue
- – James O’Meara (1878-1925) m. Mary Hough
- – Mary O’Meara (1880-1963)
- – William O’Meara (1882-1947) m. Kathleen Farrell
- – Margaret O’Meara (1884-1910) m. John Walsh
- – Annie O’Meara (1886-1966) m. Patrick Sammon
- – John (Jack) O’Meara (1889-1938)
- – Edward O’Meara (b. 1890) m. Kathleeen O’Brien in America
- John (Jack) O’Meara from Offaly m. Kathleen Canning (b. 1900) from Galway in 1929
- – Vincent O’Meara (1934-1966)
- – Lorna O’Meara (1936-2008) m. John Hogan
- Vincent Eamon O’Meara m. Gabrielle Oliver (b. 1944) in Surrey in 1964. She rem. Glynne Pughe Morgan (b. 1941) in 1966
- – Jeremy Morgan born O’Meara (b. 1964)
- – Piers Morgan born O’Meara (b. 1965)
- – Charlotte Pughe Morgan (b. 1967) m. Patrick Tomlinson
- – Rupert Pughe Morgan (b. 1971)
- Piers Morgan m. Marion Shalloe in 1991 (divorced in 2008); rem. Celia Walden (b. 1975) in 2010
- – Spencer Morgan (b. 1993)
- – Stanley Morgan (b. 1997)
- – Albert (Bertie) Morgan (b. 2001)
- – Elise Morgan (b. 2012)
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