George William, son of John and Elizabeth (née Radford) Goodman, was born at Leeds, Yorkshire, England on 29 June 1821. He was the nephew of Sir George Goodman, an English wool-stapler, a magistrate in the borough and county of Leeds, a former mayor of Leeds and a Liberal politician.
He died on 6 Novmeber 1865, aged 44, after slitting his throat with a razor at his home. He was unmarried and lived alone. He had suffered from heart disease and used Laudanum to relieve his sufferings. He was buried in the Church of England section of the Geelong Eastern Cemetery
The administrator of his estate was Samuel Clapham, a cousin who lived at Portland. His estate was mainly left to his father with bequests for his two brothers, Benjamin (born 8 Oct 1822) and Alfred (born 4 August 1828), who were named in the will as executors. As his immediate family lived in England, an administrator was appointed to wind up his estate.