Mary Ann Wagstaff (1848–1906)
The first-born daughter of John Wagstaff and Bess (nee Ward), Mary Ann was raised on the goldfields. Prior to marrying, Mary Ann lived and worked at Smythesdale, at Mary Ah Lock’s ‘establishment’ in China Town. It’s believed that she worked as a prostitute. During this time she gave birth to three children, all registered as carrying the surname Wagstaff, and all listed as ‘illegitimate’. None survived.
Letitia b.1867 died five days old, Alfred Ernest b.1868 died two-and-a-half years old, Victoria Adelaide Edith b.1871 died two weeks old.
In 1872 Mary Ann’s fortunes changed. She married the very dapper Cantonese-born ‘miner and hotel keeper’ Ah Tan, and together they raised a family of five.