Several months ago I advertised in one our Sunday newspapers that has a "Desperately Seeking" section. At 2.30pm the same day as the advertisement was run I got a call from a lady who it turned out lives three streets away from me. This lady had been researching her late husband's family and thought that I was related to him, mind you this is three generations back. The next day we met up for coffee and a chat at our local bakery/coffee shop and have been firm friends since then. We have been researching our common ancestors, both convict and free settler, in Tasmania and through the Salvation Army in Melbourne, Australia have managed to even get photographs of our relatives so we are going to go into the city and see what other hidden gems we can find.
Another genealogy friend is Alan whom I had actually known for a number of years and it was only when I spoke to his wife, in the same bakery, that we realised that we shared a common convict ancestor who was transported for life from England in 1836. I have found several cousins on my maternal side that I didn't know even existed. Sometimes it is sad when I get the death certificates for all the babies that died in the 1800's and I realise how lucky I was to be born in the 20th century! In Australia it has become fashionable to have convict ancestors in your family. I have found threee definite convicts on my paternal side, one definite convict on my maternal side and possibly another two, needs further investigation.
Every time I get on the internet and start searching I am thankful that the English transported their so called criminals to Australia or I wouldn't be here writing this.