Coat of Arms
The coat of arms that I use as a website logo (and have a custom wax seal for!) is from genealogical research done by George Boatwright. I commissioned an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania to recreate the coat of arms in a vector graphics format based on an image found in an old book. According to historical sources tracked down by George, the coat of arms was given by Henry VI to John Botwright (very old spelling of my last name) long, long ago. John Boatwright was a member of the clergy and evidently a friend of the king, possibly even helping design his own coat of arms. In a move that I feel solidly confirms my heritage to this man, John Botwright included the anchors to be a smartass; he was just making fun of his own last name. The smartass gene runs strong in my family to this day. I have also read that he was known to always keep a small black notebook with him at all times, which was hilarious when I read it as I keep notebooks with me all the time and they are often black. Finally, John was the Master of Corpus Christi College of Cambridge from 1443 to 1474.
I do not know if I am related to John Botwright but in a world where my last name is rare, I just don't care. Should there come a time my DNA is linked to him, I will scream it from the mountaintops and let Cambridge know that I am the offspring of one of their topmost officials. Until then, I'll just use the coat of arms because it's slightly more authentic than the shady things people normally pay for and only claim heritage to those I know I am related to!
Coming "soon." The short version is that my paternal family has been in America since 1653. I like to refer to it as "not being on the Mayflower, but they saw us in the rearview mirror."
Academic Family Tree
This is much more brief, though later I want to flesh out some of the side branches because there are some very interesting academic "cousins" out there. It's an academic hobby that some have to see who they are "related" to based on the chain of doctoral advisors. Here is what I have found for mine. The site that generated the tree image used blue for a doctoral advisor based on a PhD program and the green line indicates a long apprenticeship that did not result in a formal degree. What is interesting to note is that the PhD in the United States of America has not existed for a particularly long time. In fact such a doctoral degree was introduced to this country around the time of Thomas Edison. For that reason, one did not need to have a doctorate to teach at a university, which was the route taken by Arthur E. Kennelly and how he could become the dissertation advisor of Vannevar Bush, who was a science community superstar especially during WWII.