It was only a matter of time. Ancestry.com
plans to sell DNA test kits and add a genetic genealogy database to its array of research offerings.
It’s made possible by a partnership between Ancestry.com’s parent company, The Generations Network
(TGN), and Salt Lake City-based Sorenson Genomics
—one of the country’s largest DNA testing labs, the creator of the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation (SMGF) genetic genealogy database, and until now, the owner of consumer genetic genealogy testing lab Relative Genetics
Relative Genetics will close, and its customers and Y-Match test results database will become part of TGN. Ancestry.com will market the tests, with results to be added to Ancestry.com’s database, and host the surname projects formerly at Relative Genetics.
Relative Genetics spokesperson Peggy Hayes says the free Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation database
, which isn't part of Relative Genetics, is not part of the partnership. "SMGF will continue its mission as a philanthropic organization," she added.
Ancestry.com's DNA tests will cost less than $200 and be available later this summer. Sorenson's labs will provide the testing kits and analyze customers' DNA.
The DNA test results database will be free at Ancestry.com. Former Relative Genetics customers will automatically become Ancestry.com registered users, who can access the site’s free services.
The customers will be able to control privacy settings, or opt out altogether by contacting Relative Genetics before July 15. (see Relative Genetics' FAQ page
for more on what this development means for customers).
You may remember the GenetiKit, TGN predecessor MyFamily.com’s first foray into genetic genealogy. Also a partnership with Relative Genetics, the GenetiKit Y-DNA test kit debuted in 2002 for $219 and faded away a few years ago.