Analysis: Who was Louisa Mason?
Louisa Mason was the woman who “eloped” with Thunderbolt in October or early November 1867, the woman who later died at Mrs Bradford’s house on the Goulburn River near Denman. Many Thunderbolt writers have claimed that this woman was Mary Ann Bugg, and that Louisa Mason was one of Mary Ann’s nicknames. They are wrong.
The Muswellbrook correspondent for the Maitland Mercury reported: "On Saturday night last [23 Nov 1867], at about nine o’clock, information was brought to the police that Thunderbolt and his woman, Louisa Mason, commonly known as ‘Yellow Long’, were at Mrs Bradford’s on the Goulburn River, the latter in a dying state." 
The Empire had previously written that Thunderbolt "then proceeded to Segenhoe whence he took a half-caste girl who was living with a person well-known about here as Cranky Bob". Another Maitland Mercury reference to the dead woman mentioned that her husband was a “free-selector residing in the Scone district”(for further information, see Did Mary Ann Bugg die in 1867?).
These reports indicate that Louisa Mason came from the Segenhoe/Scone district and was the wife of "Cranky Bob". Civil records reveal that a woman named Louisa Jane Clark married Robert Michael Mason, a labourer from Rouchel near Scone, on 13 August 1867 at Muswellbrook (see Marriage Certificate). This is clearly the Louisa Mason, wife of Bob of Scone, mentioned in the above newspaper reports. The fact that Louisa Mason was also a “half-caste” woman partly explains the confusion between her and Mary Ann Bugg.
Louisa Mason was not Mary Ann Bugg, and Mary Ann never used the nickname Louisa Mason. In fact, one can't help feeling sorry for Mary Ann, not only because Thunderbolt ran off with Louisa Mason but because of what Mary Ann has had to endure in the aftermath. Hasn't it occurred to those determined to label her with the nicknames Louisa Mason and Yellow Long that Mary Ann probably had ill-feelings towards the woman? Surely, the last thing she would have wanted was to be known through the centuries by that woman's name!
 Maitland Mercury 28 Nov 1867 p.4 (two articles)
 Maitland Ensign quoted in The Empire 21 Nov 1867 p.8