This article is from the rec.heraldry FAQ, by Gordon Findlay (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Francois Velde (email@example.com) with numerous contributions by others.
See question 3.
"Unless you pay them thousands of dollars, the companies [in the malls,
and in advertisements in many publications] won't do that research;
they'll just look in their books under your surname, and tell you what's
All that will tell you is that there is (or once was) a person sharing
Byour surname who bore arms. Suppose your name were "Jones"; it wouldn't
be very significant to learn that there was once an English armiger
- Josh Mittleman (firstname.lastname@example.org)