Like all good geeks who grew up loving medieval history (and fantasy), I have an unnatural fascination with heraldry.

When I was in high school, I took a trip to Vancouver, BC with my brother and parents. One particularly rainy day during our travels, we stumbled upon a quaint shop bursting with heraldic odds and ends: arms and armor, books and posters, flags and banners and standards. For a small fee, the owner offered to research our various coats of arms and even paint them on separate plaques. I begged, my parents relented, and the shop owner told us they’d be ready in an hour.

When he presented the plaques, I was severely disappointed. We’d plainly been ripped off. I mean, I wasn’t expecting Monet, but I wasn’t expecting paint-by-numbers either:


(This picture almost makes them look passable.
You’ll just have to imagine the shitty plastic and flaking letters.)

We returned home and the plaques found their way into a box in the attic, where they began gathering dust.

Recently, while helping my parents clean, I stumbled across the plaques again. I immediately felt the same disappointment I had years ago. But then I thought, “I have passing proficiency with Photoshop. Surely I can do better!”

So I did.



(paternal grandmother)


From the cursory research I’ve done, this one looks accurate.
My father says a Davidge came over from Normandy with William the Conqueror. I guess that makes us Normans.


(maternal grandfather)


Although there are many different Becker coats of arms,
I haven’t been able to find this one anywhere else.


(maternal grandmother, if you go back a few generations)


This one also appears to be accurate. I once heard a story that the MacIsaac surname surfaced when a man named Isaac MacDonald fell in love with a woman from a rival clan. He ran away with her and changed his name to Donald MacIsaac. It’s probably apocryphal, but I’m an incurable romantic.