Beware of the ads that recently have appeared on late-night television and on the web. These ads insinuate that they can trace your name back in time to its origins. Actually, the ads are carefully worded to always say "the origins of your name," not the "origins of your ancestors."
The ads state, "Your ancestors left you a precious legacy: your family name." The same ads also claim to offer an "extremely detailed family history" and "a scroll of your family name and origin and meaning." The Internet ad also offers "2 specially researched reports on why your ancestors got their family name and why there is a Coat of Arms listed under your family name."
Of course, the advertisements neglect to mention there is no such thing as a "family coat of arms" (except in Japan and a few rare exceptions in the Netherlands) and names came from many places.
For instance, I have researched my own EASTMAN surname in America and have found immigrants of that name over a period of 300 years from England, Scotland, Sweden, Denmark, Poland, Russia, Spain, Argentina, and China. In addition, I know of black families named EASTMAN whose origins I have been unable to trace but I assume they eventually go back to Africa. I don't believe all these families are all related nor are the origin(s) of their family name accurately listed on any single piece of paper.
I have also researched the so-called "family coat of arms." There is none, despite what the hucksters claim. To be sure, there was a coat of arms once issued in England to a man named Eastman but it cannot be automatically passed down to his own sons, not to mention to anyone else of the same name.
Anything that claims to be a report of the "Eastman family name" is obvious not complete. I doubt if all these families had ancestors who got their family names in the same manner. I would suggest that any "report" of a family name and any mention of a family coat of arms is equally worthless. Sadly, I suspect that many gullible people will fall for this.