Thursday, July 19, 2007

Remember Ancestry.com's 1st DNA Project?

The Generations Network (TGN), parent company of Ancestry.com, announced last month a partnership with Sorenson Genomics, parent company of Relative Genetics. Ancestry will take over Relative Genetics' business while Sorenson continues to perform the necessary lab work.

Columnist Diane Haddad recalled that this is not the first attempt by Ancestry to enter the DNA business. "Also a partnership with Relative Genetics, the [Ancestry] GenetiKit Y-DNA test kit debuted in [January] 2002 for $219." Rumor has it that Relative Genetics was not able to keep up with the volume produced by the Ancestry marketing juggernaut. By August Ancestry had suspended sells (see complete text), and ended the initiative by March of the next year.

Ever fearful that a broken link might dissuade a potential subscriber, Ancestry often leaves published URLs in place for years. In fact, web pages from Ancestry's last foray into DNA testing are still present on the Ancestry.com website (as of the publication date of this article). Ancestry's MyGenetic Genealogy logo on the old pages attests to the close relationship between Relative Genetics, Ancestry, and Sorenson Genomics. Is the source for this close relationship found in the ownership statement of TGN? James Lee Sorenson, CEO of Sorenson Media, is the son of James LeVoy Sorenson, CEO of Sorenson Genomics. Both are officers of Sorenson Companies. The elusive senior Sorenson was the subject of an extensive newspaper article the year following the partnership's collapse.

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