a biologically related ancestor: a progenitor of the species.
a person or thing that first indicates a direction, originates something, or serves as a model; predecessor; precursor: the progenitor of modern painting.

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin prōgenitor the founder of a family. See pro-1, genitor

progenitorial [proh-jen-i-tawr-ee-uhl, -tohr-] , adjective
progenitorship, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
progenitor (prəʊˈdʒɛnɪtə)
1.  a direct ancestor
2.  an originator or founder of a future development; precursor
[C14: from Latin: ancestor, from pro-1 + genitor parent, from gignere to beget]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

1382, from Anglo-Fr. progenitour (1347), O.Fr. progeniteur, from L. progenitorem (nom. progenitor) "ancestor," agent noun from progenitus, pp. of progignere (see progeny).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

progenitor pro·gen·i·tor (prō-jěn'ĭ-tər)

  1. A direct ancestor.

  2. An originator of a line of descent.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Example sentences
Cloning for reproduction would produce an identical twin younger than his or
  her progenitor.
Any critique that doesn't reference the progenitor misses the obvious.
The history of life is often represented by a tree, with each existing species
  evolving directly from a single progenitor species.
This, in turn, would be evidence of a common progenitor.
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