About

Nathan Dylan Goodwin BA MA

I have been researching the Dengate family tree since around the age of twelve when I became interested in my maternal grandmother, Eveline Dengate's family. My grandmother was one of those wonderful people family historians love, as she kept an abundance of photographs (mostly labelled!), newspaper cuttings, order of services and all manner of other Dengate-related memorabilia. I would spend many a happy hour at her house creating (badly drawn) family trees for the Dengates. It helped a great deal that for several generations, the Dengates appeared to have lived very locally to my home town of Hastings, East Sussex, so I was familiar with many of the locations where they lived, worked and raised their families. From that point on, I was hooked!

I have been researching the Dengate family tree since around the age of twelve when I became interested in my maternal grandmother, Eveline Dengate's family. My grandmother was one of those wonderful people family historians love, as she kept an abundance of photographs (mostly labelled!), newspaper cuttings, order of services and all manner of other Dengate-related memorabilia. I would spend many a happy hour at her house creating (badly drawn) family trees for the Dengates. It helped a great deal that for several generations, the Dengates appeared to have lived very locally to my home town of Hastings, East Sussex, so I was familiar with many of the locations where they lived, worked and raised their families. From that point on, I was hooked!

Me with my grandmother, Eveline Dengate
The very first family tree I ever created!

I remember being around the age of fourteen when I interviewed 'Aunty Elsie' (actually my great great aunt) about her family. I had a wonderful opportunity with this lady, who had been born in the Victorian era, to ask all kinds of questions about her childhood and the personalities of various family members. Unfortunately, however, in my naivety I concentrated on asking her to flesh out the names of the extended Dengate family, which I can now do in a few minutes online. When Elsie died in 1992 (when I was fifteen years old) her photograph collection was put on display at her wake with the announcement that 'anything left would go in the bin.' Of course, once everybody had had a chance to take one or two mementoes, I dived in and took all that remained!

Elsie Dorothy Dengate
A small number of the collection of Elsie's photos 

I have continued working on various aspects of the Dengate / Dungate family over the years, registering the surnames with the Guild of One-Name Studies in 2005 and The Surname Society in 2019.

My interest in the Dengate name led me, in 2003, to be researching the wartime editions of the Hastings & St Leonards Observer in Hastings Library when I had the idea of writing a book about the town during WW2. This resulted in my first publication, Hastings at War, which was published in 2005. A follow-up book along a similar theme, Hastings Wartime Memories and Photographs was published in 2009.

Having thoroughly enjoyed the writing process, in 2007 I embarked on a Masters Degree in Creative Writing at Canterbury Christ Church University, from which I graduated in 2009. On this course I first combined my love of writing with my love of genealogy, producing a first draft of what would become my first fiction novel, Hiding the Past

Alongside writing and genealogy, I also trained to become a primary school teacher and worked for a number of years in two lovely schools. Since 2015 I have been working as a full-time author, concentrating mainly on my series of books about a forensic genealogist, Morton Farrier, who has to solve crimes in the past using genealogy. 

For more information about my writing, please take a look at my website: www.nathandylangoodwin.com

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