An Interview with author Nathan Dylan Goodwin

In our recent podcast, Episode #37, we had the pleasure of interviewing author Nathan Dylan Goodwin. Nathan writes our favorite genealogy mystery novels, the Forensic Genealogist series featuring Morton Ferrier.

We had such fun learning how Nathan comes up with ideas and does the research for his books. We go a little insight to his family and the characters in his book. We also learned what is coming up and new in print. If you are interested in learning more about Nathan Dylan Goodwin, here is a link to his website: All his books are on our website under Books (of course.)

Join us wherever you get your podcasts!

2 thoughts on “An Interview with author Nathan Dylan Goodwin

  1. Sarah

    Brace yourselves, this is long one! I don’t have a comment/question pertaining to this episode, but I wanted to share with you my experience researching my Great Grandfather, Lester Wilson. I took a break from genealogy for a while because I had 2 small children and I was frustrated with the cost of trying to gather my evidence. It wasn’t until my mother passed this January that I got back into it. Anyway, on with my story…

    My Great Grandfather was married 3 times, I knew this because I had heard stories about his “other” wife, “Neetis Jo,” I even have a picture with her in it. I had always assumed he was married to her before he married my Great Grandmother; I was wrong. Thanks to my local library I found my my great grandparents 1924 marriage license on As I was reading it I noticed it said he had no prior marriages. I was shocked, did Grandpa Wilson lie? How could my assumptions possibly be wrong (sarcasm)? I immediately set out to find where she placed in his life. I searched everywhere I cold think. He lived his whole life in Michigan, surely they were married there. NOPE! I looked at surrounding states: Indiana, Ohio (he married his third wife Dorothea in Ohio) etc. NOTHING! Seriously, batting a thousand here. Finally I just did a search on Ancestry for Lester Roy Wilson between 1942 (his divorce) and 1947 (his 3rd marriage, in Ohio). I found him in a 1942 directory for Flint, MI, I heard the angels sing, his name was glowing at me on the computer screen. It was right there, Lester Roy Wilson and wife Joann N. And her name was Joann not Neettis Jo! Oh, Sarah, you and your assumptions…

    My hour on the computer was nearly up when I finally found their marriage licence in ARKANSAS!
    What-why? Her name was Joan Copeland and she was from Missouri, he was from Michigan. How did they meet? And why Arkansas for their marriage? So, after I found this I found their divorce shortly after. I’m telling you this was an awesome day at my library! On their divorce decree her name is Nedies Wilson (<— see that, Nedies). Her name is recorded a different way for each piece of paper it is on (Joan N., Nedies J., Nedies Joan, Nedies Joann). Now I needed to confirm her maiden name was Copeland. Yeah, that's not going to happen because your know what? She was married before, turns out twice before, and twice after my grandfather.

    At the end of this journey I do have a question. Should I continue to pursue more information about her or is this just taking me away from what is important?

    Ok, this is far too long, but I was so excited I had to share. I do have another story I would like to share with you about Lester's Uncle-Grandpa (yyyyyyyyep). Well, Great Uncle-Step-Grandpa, he is a fascinating character, I have found much about him in the local papers that ran in Tuscola County, Michigan. But that is a post for another time. — Sarah


    1. Sarah! What an adventure, down the rabbit hole and back I would say. Your story is exactly why genealogy research is so engaging. There is so much about your story that I love. First of all, utilizing the library (we are huge fans of the library especially for genealogy research), second getting all this done in an hour and third using your resources to look far and wide! (also love your writing style)
      You ask if you should pursue more on this lady of many names and I would say no as she is not your ancestor. Did they have children together? That would be a reason to pursue her story if they did but otherwise it would be just for your personal interest. Looking forward to hearing about Lester’s Uncle-Grandpa (hmmm).


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