Back of painting: Armstrong, Painter, Lancaster, 1833.
( Arthur Armstrong was a portrait painter whose studio was in Lancaster, PA ) He is known for about 40 documented paintings and is well known among portrait painting experts in Pennsylvania and elsewhere.
The back of the painting has a note and I was able to read the inscription as follows:
"Mr. Hugh Shaw left Taneytown August 5th 1845 for to do business in City of Baltimore... Shaw and Hickson....
This likeness presented to Dr. O'Neal by his Ma, E. L. Shaw.
Mr. Shaw and Mr. Hickson are next door to each other, occupation "merchant" in Baltimore on the 1850 census.
The painting is of Evalina L. Crapster O'Neal Shaw
She may not be a "famous"person, but her son is !
Daughter of John Crapster ( 1761-1824) and wife Susanna Klein ( 1766-1855)
1st husband Walter O'Neal whom she married in Frederick Co. Maryland 18 January 1820. (The date of the marriage is engraved on the watch she is wearing in the portrait. Her family still owns the watch. The same descendants now own the portrait again ! )
Evalina and Walter's son is Dr. John William Crapster O'Neal who was famous due to his records kept of the dead boys at the battle of Gettysburg. He was born 21 April 1821.
For years, Southern families would write him. He would locate from his notebook the grave number of their son and mail the body South so the boy could return to his family and be buried with them.
Walter O'Neal died 27 June 1827.
Evalina then married her 2nd husband : Hugh Shaw of Taneytown, Maryland ( 1806-1865 )
They are indeed on the 1850 census of Baltimore, Maryland. His occupation is "merchant"
Dr. John William Crapster O'Neal's death certificate states he was born 21 April 1821. Occupation: Medical Doctor. Born in Va.
Father: Walter O'Neal born VA Mother: Evalina Crapster born Maryland. Informant: Virginia O'Neal Huddle of Gettysburg, Pa.
Died 24 April 1913. Attending physician: Dr. Walter H O'Neal of Gettysburg Pa. ( son )
Evalina and her 2nd husband Hugh Shaw are buried with tombstones at Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Hanover, York County, Penn.
Hugh Shaw 15 Feb 1806 - 23 May 1865.
Evalina L. Shaw 22 Dec 1801 - 29 May 1883.
Mr. Armstrong painted Evalina in 1833. She was born 1801 so she is about 32 in the painting.