S02EP03: ‘The Swindler’ with Nathan Dylan Goodwin

In our third episode of Series Two, Andrew meets genealogist and genealogy crime mystery author Nathan Dylan Goodwin – creator of the Morton Farrier Forensic Genealogist, Mrs McDougall Investigates, and Venator Cold Case series of books. Andrew will be finding out how this family history addict got hooked, what it’s like living with a real and fantasy family history research in his head, and more!

Relatively Speaking – Silas Thomas

Nathan chose to tell the life story of his ‘naughty’ 3x Great Grandfather Silas Thomas of Mountfield in Sussex, England.

Silas’ story begins with a farmer ploughing a field and discovering a metallic object in Mountfield, in 1863. After it was believed to be brass and was sold to Silas, it doesn’t take long for him to begin to question quite what has been found. Was it iron, brass, or something more significant?

Unfortunately a turn of events sees Silas and his brother-in-law Stephen Willett sell the items rather than declare them as treasure of The Crown. They find themselves with a large amount of money, and a stay at Her Majesty’s Pleasure.

Do you think he really knew what had been dug up, or was it initially a simple mistake? That jury is perhaps still out.

The Brick Wall – Thomas Goodwin

Rather awkwardly for Nathan, it’s his own surname that is causing him a Brick Wall headache, in the form of his 4x Great Grandfather Thomas Goodwin (sometimes Thomas Peter Goodwin).

Thomas was born in about 1781, and he marries Mary Austin at St. Martin In The Fields, Westminster, on 17th August 1800. Today this church overlooks Trafalgar Square.

Nathan has used DNA to help him triangulate relatives to break this brick wall, but it has not yet given him a link that would verify or eliminate the most likely candidate. Can you help him identify Thomas’ baptism or birth family?

Annoyingly, the only clue of his origin is that in 1841, he says that he was not born in Sussex. This was Thomas’ final census (and the first modern census to really be of any substance). In London, you could cross the river and be in a different county… so geographical distance could be tiny… but the truth eludes Nathan.

If you think you can help him, then you can reach out to him at his website or alternatively, you can send a message through our contact form.

Despite being somewhat sceptical about Andrew’s ability to help him solve his brick wall, Nathan accepts… but he’ll have to tread carefully.


Episode Credits:
Series Two, Episode Three

Andrew Martin (Host/Producer)
Nathan Dylan Goodwin (Guest)
John Spike (Sándor Petőfi)
Eliot Lees (Foley)


©2021 The Family Histories Podcast.

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