GedShow is a simple WordPress plugin that allows the uploading of a gedcom file to a WordPress website. Once the plugin is installed there is a new menu item in the Admin menu panel on the website entitled Gedshow. On clicking this menu option a file upload dialog page is displayed allowing you to browse your computer for your gedcom file and then upload it. Once the gedcom file has been uploaded some of the data is extracted from it and loaded into the WordPress database. The uploaded information can then be displayed on a page using a shortcode.

The first shortcode is [gedshow living=”yes”] or [gedshow living=”no”], as usual the shortcode should be typed in lowercase and surrounded by square brackets. This displays a list of all the surnames in the database with a count of the number of records who have that surname in brackets next to the surname. The surname is displayed on a button, clicking on this button then shows the first and surname of all those individuals of the surname clicked and hides the all surnames records, again the names are displayed on a button. Clicking on this new button shows the individual record of that person. Currently occupations, birth, baptism, death, burial, residence and occupation dates and places are shown. If the individual had children a ‘show tree’ button is displayed, clicking this button shows a graphical tree of the family below the marriage details. The names of the spouse and children of the individual are links and clicking on any of these changes the display of fact to that new individuals details.

The second shortcode is [surname sn=”smith” living=”yes”] or [surname sn=”smith” living=”no”]. Replace smith with the surname of your choice within double quotes (ensuring that the surname exists in your gedcom). This shortcode then displays the data as above.

The third shortcode is [gs_individual id=”I1″ name=”Y”] This shortcode can be placed on any page or post and will display the persons name (if Y is in the shortcode) followed by their Birth, Marriage and Death details and then any person level notes. Additional information and photos can then be added in the usual way. The reference number can be found for the person in the header of their normal Gedshow page by hovering over their name. More details on the demo site.

The fourth shortcode is [gs_tree id=”I1″] This displays a 3 generation Ancestor tree for a chosen individual. The id number is found in the same was as shortcode 3 above. The shortcode can be used anywhere on a page or post. PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS SHORTCODE DOES NOT CHECK FOR LIVING INDIVIDUALS BEING DISPLAYED.

The first two shortcodes can now have living yes / no qualifier. So [gedshow living=”yes”] or [surname sn=”smith” living=”yes”]. If you do not add the living qualifier living=no is assumed.
For these new shortcodes to work you MUST re-import your gedcom file as there are database changes. There is a new page on the demo website on using this new living qualifier.

When first and surnames are shown on either the button or in the heading for individual records the sex of the individual is shown after the surname using the unicode symbols, ♂ for male and ♀ for female.

The ‘Upcoming Birthdays’ widget is available in the Widgets pane as Gedshow Birthdays. It can be displayed in any widget area (ideally around 250px wide or wider) the title and number of birthdays to show is selectable in the widget dialog (default 10). Only the day and month are shown so display of Living people is not repressed.

The ‘Top Surnames’ widget is available in the Widgets pane as Gedshow Surnames. This widget shows a configurable number (default 10) of the highest number of surnames in the database.

The ‘Anniversaries’ widget is available in the Widgets pane as Gedshow Anniversaries. This widget shows a configurable number (default 5) of the upcoming wedding anniversaries in the database.

The ‘In Memoriam’ widget is available in the Widgets pane as Gedshow In Memoriam. This widget shows a configurable number (default 10) of the upcoming deaths in the database.

Current limitations:

  • Only one gedcom can be uploaded, the previous one will be deleted if a new one is uploaded.
  • UTF-16 gedcom files, native to Family Historian, are not supported. Export as utf-8 format gedcom for use in this plugin.
  • Large gedcom files with >25000 individuals are unlikely to load due to webserver timeouts (this may be a smaller number on free / shared webhosts.

Future enhancements:

  • Suggestions for added functionality welcome

Demo site – Full shortcode
Demo site – Surname shortcode
Demo site – Person story shortcode

Any comments / feedback to


  • Admin page for gedcom upload.
  • All surnames display.
  • Single surname display.
  • Individual with facts display.
  • Family tree display.
  • Gedshow options page (admin)
  • Widget displays.
  • Icons on person screen explanation


Upload the GedShow plugin to your site and activate as normal in the ‘Plugins’ menu.
Select the Gedshow option in the admin panel.
Upload your gedcom file.
Go to Gedshow > Options and choose your button width and colour (these can be adjusted later without having to re upload your gedcom).
Enter the shortcode on a page.


Can I delete my gedcom file once it is processed?

Yes, just go to the media browser and delete as usual. It is no longer needed by the plugin.

Can I update my gedcom file even though it is already in the plugin?

Yes, just upload it again, the old entries in the plugin database will be deleted and the contents of the uploaded gedcom file will take its place.

I don’t like the style of the buttons or the colours, can I change them?

Yes, the colour can be changed in the Gedshow Options page and styles can be changed using Custom CSS. The style of the button is dictated by the browser and theme but these can be changed with Custom CSS but may need the !important tag added.

I get the error ‘You must upload a gedcom file with an extension of ged (in lowercase).’ but my file is named correctly.

This problem is usually caused by being installed on WordPress multisite. Please add ged as an allowed extension in Dashboard > Settings > Network Settings > Upload file types.


April 10, 2020
Doing a family website, and wanted to include a family tree. I have a GedCom of about 700 people and I was going to just pull out one branch of the family for the site. But then I realized how well the surname-sort short-code works and I uploaded the full file; and created four separated surname pages, each focused on major branches of the family. I also have one major index. This has worked well for me - and I love that I can choose to display full names - with PW protection - or conceal names of living members for privacy. I had a question and support was terrific too!
March 27, 2019
I installed GEDSHOW on my website. I like the idea of adding new information to my family tree by uploading an updated version of a new Gedcom. GEDSHOW has potential and I look forward to other releases.
February 13, 2019
No bells and whistles, just a simple display of your GedCom data in blocks and trees. An option on the Plugin page to delete data would be great. The plugin only adds a few tables to your database so if you need to clean out the data to start over (I did a bunch of experiments with misc. data) it isn't tedious.
Read all 3 reviews

Contributors & Developers

“GedShow” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.


“GedShow” has been translated into 1 locale. Thank you to the translators for their contributions.

Translate “GedShow” into your language.

Interested in development?

Browse the code, check out the SVN repository, or subscribe to the development log by RSS.



  • Added a new shortcode to display an Ancestor tree on any page or post for an individual
  • Added code to convert smart quotes to normal quotes in shortcodes
  • Renamed some variable names in the code due to a conflict with the Divi theme
  • Fixed typo in anniversaries widget
  • Changed the database definitions to fix a bug with long family reference id’s


  • Added In Memoriam widget to show the upcoming dates of deaths of people in the database
  • Added the ability to select a bacground colour to the widgets; pink for birth, green for marriage and grey for in memoriam
  • more jQuery fixes


  • Fix to code to work with the new version of jQuery in WordPress v5.5.x
  • Update reflect testing against v5.6 of WordPress


  • Bug fix to ensure that the Photos table is created correctly under all circumstances


  • Include an individuals linked photo in the person shortcode generated content
  • Checks included in the person shortcode qualifiers to ensure a valid person ID is entered
  • Show a person icon if they have no linked photo in the person shortcode
  • Bug fix to show surnames with apostrophe’s to display correctly

  • Bug found post release in colour picker for buttons – corrected.


  • Added ‘Upcoming anniversaries’ widget which displays the 1-10 (selectable) wedding anniversaries from today
  • Added new configuation page to attach one photo from the media library to an individual. The photo is displayed by clicking the icon in the person header and the image is displayed in a modal window.
  • Added new configuration page to attach a WordPress page to an individual’s record. On clicking the icon in the person header the display switches to that page.
  • Removed Gedshow promotion elements
  • If the plugin is removed (not de activated) it now deletes the custom database tables
  • Minor CSS changes
  • Bug if shortcode was used without qualifiers then an error was shown – fixed


  • Added the ability to display all surnames starting with a chosen letter using the gedshow shortcode
  • Added the ability to display all first names starting with a chosen letter using the surname shortcode (useful for surname studiers)
  • Added an ‘Upcoming birthdays’ widget which displays the next 0-20 (selectable) birthdays from today
  • Added a ‘Top Surnames’ widget which displays the 1-10 (selectable) most common surnames from the database
  • New shortcode added to display a limited amount of data from the database so as to make a ‘person story page’
  • Surnames capitalised so it is easier to identify them from first names
  • Name button code updated to display correctly on all screen sizes and themes
  • Changes to Gedcom import to make it more robust
  • Minor CSS changes


  • Improvements to gedcom import now much faster
  • New tree display now has 3 generations displayed
  • Bug corrected if no qualifiers in shortcode to prevent blank page
  • Fixed bug where Living=”yes” was being lost in the tree display
  • CSS changes to tidy up display elements, to make display more mobile friendly and to ensure that buttons are visible
  • Individual record level notes extracted from the gedcom and displayed in a modal box using the icon in the individual name header
  • Fact level notes extracted from the gedcom and displayed in a modal window using the icon in the fact header
  • Notes created for census events from sub facts of the census event such as age displayed in a modal window
  • Notes are NOT displayed on small screened devices
  • Birth of children now displayed in the parents facts can be turned on/off in Gedshow Options (off by default)
  • Number of facts extracted from the gedcom increased
  • More information about this update and other tips at the Demo site


  • Bug found that affected new users of the plugin update users not affected
  • Add FAQ item for multisite users

  • One new file missed from 2.0.3 now added


  • Both shortcodes can now have a qualifier of living=”yes” or living=”no”. See above for more details.
  • Tree display now has a scroll bar for small screen devices
  • Changes to CSS to tidy up some display elements
  • Show tree button moved to below the child entries
  • Added probate and Cremation as facts extracted from the gedcom


  • A major bug was found in the gedcom parse routine which required a total re-write
  • Bug corrected in the Sort Date routine
  • If there is no marriage date in the gedcom but there is a family a blank marriage record is created so as to show family records
  • Corrected a bug that if there were 3 or more marriages the incorrect date and place were displayed
  • If there is no spouse record but there is one child or more the missing spouse is displayed as ‘Not recorded’


  • A bug was found in the new gedcom parse routine by a user and if there was no place (PLAC) record for a fact then the fact was not extracted from the gedcom file.


  • Major re-write of the conversion from gedcom to database code (issue found with Family Tree Maker for Mac)
  • Added Event as a fact type
  • Added Probate as a fact type
  • Address no longer displayed as part of the location
  • Added total count of individuals in the database to the All Surnames page
  • If there is no sex recorded for an individual they will be assigned U (Unknown)


  • Added additional facts: Nationality, Education and Title


  • Added Census to specific facts exported from gedcom file
  • Added a colour picker to the options page to change the default colour of the buttons


  • Updated surname shortcode to display the birth / baptism and death / burial date display
  • Corrected bug where surname shortcode was not reading the configuration file correctly
  • Corrected location display – this was only a problem for some Gramps created Gedcom files
  • Changed CSS class name to ensure no conflict with other plugins / themes


  • If no Birth year in database then Baptism / Christening year will be shown on the button, if the date is available in the database
  • If no Death year in database then Burial year will be shown on the button, if the date available in the database


  • Birth and death years now shown on individual buttons
  • Minor bug in code corrected
  • CSS refined


  • Children in tree now have links to display their data as the focus individual


  • Error message now shown if individuals do not have a sex recorded in the gedcom file. The gedcom file will not be converted in this case.


  • Fixed bug with individuals marked as ‘Living’ by Rootsmagic generated gedcom files.
  • Corrected a couple of display bugs where empty spaces were shown with some themes.


  • CSS changes to correct a display bug with some themes.
  • Added settings page to allow the width of the name buttons to be changed.


  • A visual family tree is shown below the individuals events on clicking the ‘Show Tree’ button
  • CSS changes to improve display
  • Code changes to speed up database queries
  • Bug fixed where illegitimate children were not shown
  • Bug fix where the wrong details were shown for marriage in certain circumstances
  • Database changes to display facts in chronological order – a new gedcom upload is required to take advantage of this change


  • Spouse and children are now links and clicking will display that individuals details
  • CSS changes to improve display (some browsers and themes overide the plugin settings)
  • Baptism and Burial facts added


  • Multiple marriages now shown not just the last marriage
  • Children displayed for each marriage
  • Children displayed on pink background for female and blue background for male


  • Updates to correct some minor bugs
  • Marriage records are now displayed at the bottom of the individual’s fact details
  • Birth, death and marriage facts now colour coded the same as the UK BMD certificate colours. Red – birth, Green – marriage and Black – death
  • Facts sorted alphabetically (so all facts of the same type are grouped together)


Initial release
Release date – 5 January 2019