Buck, Frederick - portrait of Hester Osborn

This miniature portrait is unsigned, but is painted in the distinctive style of Frederick Buck (1771-1840), an Irish artist who was born in Cork and also worked in Dublin. He painted many portraits of emigrants and their families. It has been said that he kept a supply of miniatures, especially of soldiers, completed apart from the head and then when army regiments were due to sail, he thus was able to complete and sell many miniatures in the short time before a ship sailed.

The sitter in this portrait has a strong American connection. According to the inscription on the reverse, the portrait was painted around 1820, she is the mother of Ann Osborne and was born in Ireland. Ann Osborne is described as marrying Benjamin Trott, becoming the mother of James Payson Trott, and the grandmother of Clifford Clarence Trott. This information has enabled the identification of the sitter as Hester Osborn (1800-?).

Research has shown that Ann Osborn (1828-?) married Benjamin Payson Trott (1815-?) on 21 Sep 1848 in Springfield, Essex, NJ, and then became respectively the mother of James Payson Trott (1852-), and the grandmother of Clifford Clarence Trott (4 Nov 1883-Sep 1965). The Internet contains family trees containing all these names.

By looking at immigration records and knowing that Ann's mother was born in Ireland, it has been possible to determine the probable family group that arrived in the United States, and thus the first name of this sitter, as an Ann Osborn (also recorded as Anna Osborn) arrived in New York from Bristol at age 5 on Aug 7 1833 on the ship "Woodman". The family included; Ann aged 5, Hannah 9, Hester 33, James 12, Jenny (possibly Jeremy) 7, Joseph 1, and William 3. Hester Osborn's husband does not seem to have accompanied her on this voyage, but an Osborn of unknown first name did arrive in New York on Jul 3 1832 on the "Prince Leboo", and so her husband may have preceded her.

Some records which appear to relate to Hester's other children can be found, although it is difficult to be sure. In the 1870 census Joseph Osborn then aged 38 and born in Ireland was living in Philadelphia.

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