In early 2000 a group of Brigham Young University (BYU) students, in Provo, Utah, headed by Molecular biologist Dr. Scott R. Woodward and philanthropist James LeVoy Sorenson originated a ground breaking study called the Molecular Genealogy Research Project (MGRP). The MGRP’s main objective was to build a large and comprehensive database of correlated genealogical and genetic information. 

The project moved from BYU to the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation (SMGF), a non-profit organization in Salt Lake City, Utah. This allowed the work to advance at a more consistent and efficient pace. In February, 2004 the Y-Chromosome (male) database was released online for public viewing and use. http://www.smgf.com/ysearch.jspx

During the first two years of the study, DNA samples were obtained through blood samples collected exclusively by trained medical personnel at scheduled collection sites. In July 2002, a new method called GenetiRinse was introduced. This involves the use of a mouthwash for the collection of cheek cells.