Ancestry Enters DNA Genealogy Field Through Exclusive Partnership with Sorenson Genomics

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ANCESTRY.COM ENTERS DNA GENEALOGY FIELD THROUGH EXCLUSIVE PARTNERSHIP WITH SORENSON GENOMICS

Combines Three Major Pillars of Family History Research – Historical Records, DNA and Family Trees

PROVO, UTAH – June 18, 2007 – A new partnership seeks to reunite families through science. The Generations Network, parent company of Ancestry.com, has announced it will combine its unrivaled collection of online family trees and historical documents with Sorenson Genomics’ precision ancestral DNA testing. This unique partnership promises to revolutionize family history by allowing people to trace their roots and connect to distant cousins through DNA at the click of a mouse.

Ancestry.com boasts more than 14 million users and the world’s largest collection of online family trees. In the last 12 months alone, more than two million people have built family trees on Ancestry.com. Sorenson Genomics is one of the world’s foremost laboratories for genetic genealogy testing services, and has been helping genealogists extend branches of their family trees through DNA analysis since 2001.

“Entering the DNA category is a natural and powerful extension of our company’s mission to connect families across distance and time,” said Tim Sullivan, CEO of The Generations Network. “Our partnership with Sorenson Genomics creates an incredible combination of resources designed to demonstrate how closely we are all related.”

By taking a simple cheek-swab test and comparing results against DNA profiles in a test-results database, virtually anyone can uncover genealogical associations unimaginable just a few years ago. Users can easily connect with and discover lost or unknown relatives within a few generations, as well as gain insight into where their families originated thousands of years ago.

In the coming months, Ancestry.com will release technology that captures DNA test results in an ever-expanding, searchable database. Using this database, users can easily identify distant cousins and tap into thousands of hours of already-completed genetic genealogical research, breaking through family tree dead-ends or barriers such as missing or inaccurate records and name changes. Ancestry.com is also developing technology that will allow users to integrate DNA results with the historical documents already in their online family trees.

“DNA research becomes more meaningful to people searching for relatives as more peoples’ DNA results become part of the database,” said Doug Fogg, COO of Sorenson Genomics. “By combining the powerful networking effect of Ancestry.com’s extensive user base with Sorenson Genomics’ industry-leading DNA testing capabilities, this partnership will dramatically alter and expand the DNA testing services marketplace.”

Prior to the current partnership, Sorenson Genomics provided DNA testing and database matching services through its direct-to-consumer genetic genealogy division Relative Genetics. This new partnership agreement brings former customers of Relative Genetics and its DNA database under The Generations Network’s umbrella. Sorenson Genomics will now provide DNA testing services for The Generations Network, and Ancestry.com will market DNA testing and database-matching services for genealogy purposes. Results of the Relative Genetics’ DNA database will be included in Ancestry.com’s growing database.

About Ancestry.com
With 24,000 searchable databases and titles, Ancestry.com is the No. 1 online source for family history information. Since its launch in 1997, Ancestry.com has been the premier resource for family history, simplifying genealogical research for millions of people by providing them with many easy-to-use tools and resources to build their own unique family trees. The site is home to the only complete online U.S. Federal Census collection, 1790-1930, as well as the world’s largest online collection of U.S. ship passenger list records featuring more than 100 million names, 1820-1960. Ancestry.com is part of The Generations Network, Inc., a leading network of family-focused interactive properties, including MyFamily.com, Rootsweb.com, Genealogy.com and Family Tree Maker. In total, The Generations Network properties receive 10.4 million unique visitors worldwide and over 450 million page views a month (© comScore Media Metrix, March 2007).

About Sorenson Genomics
Sorenson Genomics (www.sorensongenomics.com) is a best-in-class genetic testing laboratory certified to ISO 17025 and accredited by the American Association of Blood Banks. It was the world’s first laboratory accredited for genetic genealogy testing services. A pioneer in the relatively new science of genetic genealogy, Sorenson Genomics has provided genetic testing solutions to help genealogists extend branches of family trees since 2001. The company administered the DNA testing for PBS’s widely acclaimed series “African American Lives,” which traced the roots of icons Oprah Winfrey, Spike Lee, Whoopi Goldberg, Quincy Jones and others. Through its independent business units GeneTree and Sorenson Forensics, Sorenson Genomics provides a wide spectrum of contract services to clients throughout the world, including DNA extraction and purification; DNA sequencing and genotyping; forensic DNA casework; disaster victim identification; ancestral and population assessment, and custom test development. 

Media Contacts

Julia Burgon
Coltrin & Associates for Ancestry.com
212-221-1616 ext. 124
julia_burgon@coltrin.com

Tola St. Matthew-Daniel
Coltrin & Associates for Ancestry.com
212-221-1616 ext. 101
tola@coltrin.com

David Parkinson
Sorenson Genomics
801-971-2450
david@sorensoncompanies.com

19 thoughts on “Ancestry Enters DNA Genealogy Field Through Exclusive Partnership with Sorenson Genomics

  1. Congratulations to Ancestry.com and Sorenson Genomics. Hopefully they will be able to provide strong DNA testing for under 100 dollars because cost is the single most prohibitive problem with getting many tested.

    If for example a 12 marker Y-DNA test could be purchased for 50 dollars or less, this alone will explode the genetic databases worldwide and cause a flood of families that are pushing their limits on costs of genealogy research to get tested.

  2. I do hoope that you are going to make this affordable as the cost alone is one reason for the lack of participation by many individuals. I must agree that a cost of no more than $50 would make it possible for me to pay for the kit and testing for the two lines that appear to be related but that have no apparent concret documentation available to prove the relationship.

  3. I agree with Mr. Kruse. If the cost would come way down many more will participate. I’d like to get my husband, father and maybe one of my brothers to take the test but not at $100. per!
    (Myself also)

  4. I just went to the Sorenson website and can’t find a thing about what tests they offer, cost for testing, etc. I think it’s great for ancestry to announce this… but we need a link!

  5. Sounds promising, but I’m somewhat leery of the phrase “connect to distant cousins”. With a low marker level test, many “connections” might occur within a surname and the “connection” could have occurred so far back in time that finding the link between lines in genealogical records could be frustratingly difficult. Even within our Park/e/s surname project we have difficulty connecting lines where the likely connection is within one or two generations. Good concept, and you have to start somewhere, but I suspect this may be a case of overselling the actual value at present.

  6. I had my DNA done through the National Geographic program & than passed it to Family Tree DNA can I get my database into this system that you are starting now

  7. I have paid for the “$100 per DNA test” via National Geographic’s ancient ancestor program. They allow you to submit your information to Famlily Tree DNA for no aditional charge and that allows you to connect with others. In assesing costs, remember to factor in the subscription cost to Ancestry. You may find that a one-time $100 DNA test is more cost effective than years of subscriptions to Ancestry.

  8. I have felt that the claims for genealogical DNA testing were greatly overblown. Finding that two people share a common ancestor five to ten generations earlier is usually not very helpful. And it appears that additional DNA markers increase the accuracy only very slowly.
    Frankly, I am less concerned about cost than I am about the precision of the test and the science behind it. I would be willing to pay a significant amount if I could identify a third or fourth cousin rather than a seventh or eighth cousin.
    More emphasis should be placed on science and accuracy rather than on cost.

  9. Out of curiousity, I checked to see what the cost was. I had to dig pretty far into their links to find a price list which ran from $240 to $650, depending on what was to be done and the information provided. They imply they provided a lot of info, but I wonder. (Most of the site runs a whole lot of words without saying very much.) I’m in the process of getting my mtDNA done with the National Geographic Genographic Project @ $107 with s & h. That’s the best deal I’ve seen.

  10. I agree with Robert to a degree. A 12 point match is not worth much in terms of matching close family members. I tested my mother’s cousin and through our 25 marker test at Family Tree DNA was able to finally find the parents of my GGG Grandfather, David Williams (b.1784). Along with him and a family bible I now have a whole new family to add to my records! To me it was worth the investment.

  11. Regarding the “free” testing at Sorenson. It is important to note this sentence:

    — I understand that I will not receive any results back from SMGF —

    So even if you did the free test, you wouldn’t learn anything for your own records. What you WILL be providing is names, dates, and birthplaces for several generations of your family.

    I think I’d rather do it the other way around. I’d like to see those little ‘squiggles’ for myself :-) and know from whence the ancestors climbed the genetic tree.

  12. My concern is that a 12 marker test really isn’t the answer. My brother had a 37 marker test that matched 100% to a papertrail on the same surname so that was good. BUT on the other hand we keep getting 100% matches on 12 markers to surnames that aren’t even on our family tree. There must be guidelines as well as afforability to these tests. So many errors on those family trees that I see posted with no documentation and now you are going to add more mud to the pie with this? Caution sounds like a good thing to me!

  13. I received my User Guide Getting Started, I went toDNAAncestryProject.com, but couldn’t go any further. What shoul I do next? Sincerly Alexander French

  14. I’m really low on cash (disability) Life span unknown at this point I’d really love to get rolling on this to hook up my family line for my grandchildren I’ve had multible health issues and researching family and health issues may save my children and grandchildren years of health problems, after I’m gone, Grandfather and gr grandfather and gr gr grandfather were all coalminers in Durham ,England and grandfather mined in the USA on arrival , Cost is a big problem but I’ll find a way just for the jump start ,I’ll tell every one in the family that I want a early Christmas Present or birthday present to get my DNA TEST, done

  15. I agree that cost is a major issue – most people want to get more than 1 family member tested.

    I also remember that Sorenson’s Original tests were to link cultures (based on the Daughters of Eve) not to get individuals. Has this changed?

    The 25 * 37 marker tests reveal a lot more information. It appears that the respondent at #14 has possibly conected with some relatives that were not raised in their families – possibly adopted.

    Check genealogy-dna@rootsweb.com for a tremendous amount of info on the different DNA tests available.

  16. Pingback: Ancestry has teamed up with a Genetics company « Jessica’s Genejournal

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