rootsPersona creates one or more pages of family history using data imported from a Gedcom file (version 5.5).


rootsPersona creates one or more pages of family history using data imported from one or more Gedcom files.

For a sample family history website, see the one at


  • Support for Gedcom Version 5.5
  • Ability to upload more than one Gedcom file from the same source and link families together
  • Ability to select which persons from the Gedcom file to create pages for
  • As updates are made, Gedcom files can be reloaded and existing pages will be updated
  • Each page includes links to children and spouses
  • Each page displays a visual family tree that includes three generations
  • Ability to link pictures uploaded to WordPress to each person (up to 7)
  • Pages identified as ‘Permission Required’ will only be displayed to users who are logged into your WordPress site


  1. Install rootsPersona from the WordPress plugin site, or use the Add Plugins button on the Plugins page of your WordPress instance.
  2. (optional) Set a Parent Page for the created pages on the rootsPersona Options page.

At this point the plugin is ready to use!


109 Responses to rootsPersona

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  3. Mike Hart says:

    I just started using this plug-in yesterday; this appears to be exactly what we have been looking for especially the ability to upload a GEDCOM file.
    I have a couple of questions: Can I set up multiple parent pages to separate family surnames?
    For example; a “Hart Family Page” and a “McCormick Family Page” without having to change the parent page manually for each family.
    How do I sort the Names on the parent page they seem to be in the order they were added?
    Can I delete the GEDCOM file and enter a new one (I entered a modified GEDCOM to try out the plug-in now I want to enter the full file)
    Thank you for all the hard work to produce this great plug-in.

    • Ed says:

      Good questions. From the top:

      Right now there is only one parent page. You’re the second one to request this feature, and I am working on a version 2.0 that will support that. Might be a month or so.
      No way I know of to sort the names showing up under the parent page. There are some other plugins that might give more control over the display f child pages, but this is a wordpress issue, not a roots person issue.
      To delete GEDCOM and start again, got to Tools->rootsPersona and select the delete pages link.

      (Hmm, wonder how that should work when I support multiple ‘parent pages’

  4. Mike Hart says:

    After our last discussion I did the deleted pages link; updated to the lasted version.
    And downloaded my full GEDCOM.
    The first result was none of the pages located under the parent, so I had a 1000 pages spread across my site Yikes!. So I deleted those pages and tried again, then I got “all available files have been added”
    but there were no pages for the individuals. So I deleted pages again and I deleted the plug-in, I deleted all the rootspersonal files from wp-content and started over. Again I loaded the GEDCOM
    and again I get the message “all available files have been added”. But there are no individual pages.
    This time there is info in the evidence page, but thats it.
    I must be missing a step, do you know what it could be??

  5. Mike Hart says:

    as a add on to my prior comments: ” idMap.xlm is empty”, “Your rootsPersona setup is VALID.”, “Issues found with your evidence file.”

  6. Graham says:


    I have downloaded and activated this plugin on one of my sites. When I go to run the gedcom upload I get the prompt for the files and when I select the file and hit the upload button all I get back after a very short time is the same window without the selection option.

    It does not appear to have processed anything – there are no pages or files created – and there are no error/warning messages that I can see.

    Any thoughts – I would like to get this going as it looks very useful for what i need.

  7. Graham says:

    Additionaly I am using WordPress 3.1.1 and version 1.6.4 of rootsPersona.

  8. Graham says:

    Validate idMap.xml : idMap.xml is empty.

    Validate persona pages: Your rootsPersona setup is VALID.

    Validate evidence pages: Your rootsPersona setup is VALID.

  9. Ed says:



    Is it a large file? Can you try a smaller one first? You can use delete pages afterwards to delete it.

  10. Graham says:

    Tried two files – the first was 246Kb the second 69Kb.

    Have tried a 9Kb and get the same happen. I have a multisite set up – and the one I am using rootsPersona on is not the main site – if that makes sense.

  11. Graham says:

    The GED file was generated from Legacy Family Tree.

  12. Ed says:


    Haven’t tried the multi site scenario. I wonder…

    Is there a rootsPersonaData directory under wp-content? If so how many files are in it?

  13. Graham says:

    Directory is there -containing
    templatePerson .xml

  14. Graham says:

    Hi – any comment on the problem I am having?

  15. Ed says:

    My apologies, I have been swamped at work.

    Can you try some of the steps indicated in this discussion:

  16. Graham says:

    Thanks – I will do and get back to you

  17. Graham says:

    Ed, Did not seem to do any good. Not sure what problem is.


  18. Graham says:

    Thanks for the emails Ed – it seems the problem was an issue with permissions using IIS. I have changed the permissions according to the information you sent me and it has now worked happily and created the pages.

    I thank you for your prompt attention to my problem and the resolution.


  19. Fred says:


    I have this running on a HostGator server perfectly, but I’m trying to get it going on a Synology NAS and I ran into an issue. (partial white/blank screen on rootsPersonaIndexPage page where data should load). I assume it’s a permissions issue. Could you tell me exactly what files need what permissions for this to function properly? Thanks so much….


  20. Ed says:

    Fred – wp-content/rootsDataDir has to be RW, as does rootspersona/stage, but the rest can be R.

    On the forum site there are some debugging approaches that others have found helpful. If nothing else, model it after your HostGator setup.

  21. Fred says:

    Thanks Ed. The debug error I’m getting is “Fatal error: Class ‘XsltProcessor’ not found” which appears to mean the php XLS extension is not installed on this machine. Now I just have to see if I can alter/install the necessary files without voiding my warranty or else I’m out of luck.

    Thanks again!


  22. Fred says:

    oops, i meant xsl

  23. Eugen says:

    I am sorry, its not workig, i cant upload anything. When I click on upload I see:

    Privat: Upload GEDCOM File

    and nothing else. How can I fix it, all the directorys have 755 permission. And I cant run any validate tests. WHen I run Validate idMap.xml I can only see: “Privat: Persona Utility” and nothing happens.

    What can I do?


    • Ed says:

      If you look on the forum you can see some debug options you can set in wp_config.php Can you try that and send me the debug file?

  24. Bodhipaksa says:

    Did you manage to get to the bottom of the “idMap.xml is empty” problem? I’m faced with the same issue. My gedcom file is 143kb.

    • Ed says:

      I believe its basically a timeout issue. Sometimes its permissions.

      The new version (released in about 10 days) doesn’t use files, addressing the permissions issue and addresses SOME of the timeout issues.

  25. Bodhipaksa says:

    I’m looking forward to the new version. I’d be surprised if it’s a timeout issue. After hitting “upload” there’s only a few seconds until whatever happens happens. But maybe it’s a permissions thing.

  26. Bob McCool says:

    Plugin is awesome… and thank you for setting a default Parent for those of us who click first and read the docs later.

    I am having an issue however. In the Admin when I go to Tools/rootsPersona the following links result in a 404 error: Add Evidence Pages, Review Excluded Persons, Validate persona Pages, Delete persona Pages.

    Any idea what might be up?

    The site is actually at at the moment during development.


    • Ed says:

      Can you add the following to wp-config.ogo and see if a debug file is created in wp-content when it happens?

      define( ‘WP_DEBUG’, true ); // turn on debug mode
      define( ‘WP_DEBUG_LOG’, true ); // log to wp-content/debug.log
      define( ‘WP_DEBUG_DISPLAY’, false ); // don’t force display_errors to on
      @ini_set( ‘display_errors’, 0 ); // hide errors

  27. Katrin says:

    Hello Ed,
    thanks for the plugin. it seems to be what I was looking for. I have a little problem, though. I am German so many names in my family have umlauts in it. When uploading the GEDCOM file it deletes the letters that are umlauts. I can change it again in the page title but not in the actual person’s information.
    Is there a work around for this?

    • Ed says:

      The plugin converts everything to UTF8, so this should NOT be a problem. Any chance the umlauts are lost when you export to the GEDCOM? What CHARSET doe sthe GEDCOM say it is in? (Look for the CHARSET record in the first few lines)

  28. Fabien says:

    Katrin > I had the same problem with special characters. I opened my gedcom in another program (Ancestris, but the free Legacy version should work as well) which let me export in utf-8 instead of ANSI. Problem solved!

    Ed> Thank you for everything.
    Rootpersonna really is an invaluable tool. Without it I probably never would have thought of all the cool stuff I’m currently working on for the soon-to-be-released families website.
    It can be improved, sure, but it’s more flexible that I ever thought possible.
    For example, I just added unique sidebars for each persona page, so I can add information or media that cannot be written in the gedcom file or read by RP ; i.e social networks profiles/websites links, email contact form for the living, documents or face tag on Picasa/Flickr, place of burial on google maps, contact form for people to report missing or correct informations about the person, etc..
    So thank you Ed, none of it would have been possible if it wasn’t for Rootpersona.

    I have a few questions, tho:
    1) Is it possible to change the “rootpersona-tree” folder name (if i wanted someting like “” instead of the current “”), or is it fixed in stone ?

    2) Where does the “Bio” panel take its informations? I enabled it, but it doesn’t show up on individual pages. Is there a gedcom tag that should write this bio informations in ?
    Is there a way to display the “Alias”/”nicknames”/”occupation” tag contained in the gedcom ?

    3) Is there a way to build (in a future update) a “quick summary sheet” of all the family names, gender, oldest & youngest persons encuntered in the gedcom ?

    4) French translation is incomplete (Menus are ok, but the panel header/index columns, among other things, aren’t). As I need a complete french translation anyway before the site goes live, I offer to complete that translation πŸ˜‰

    Anyway, thanks again & keep up the good work!

    • Ed says:

      Hey Fabien, glad your finding it helpful.

      1) rootspersona-tree must be how you set up your site, or how your service provider did? It’s nothing the plugin does. Really its just how you setup wordpress. For instance, I have a URL, And if one juts navigates to that URL, you get my wordpress site. From their I put a link to a page that starts the tree.

      2a) Bio data was a late minute edition to fulfill a request from a long time user. The data comes from the NOTE records attached to the person. NOTE records can be attached to about anything in the GEDCOM – events, places, people, etc…

      2b) Are those not being displayed in the Facts panel? I’ll have to check. If you have an idea re: how best to display those outside of the facts panel, let me know.

      3) Possibly – if you spec out a more details ‘requirement’ I will consider it in a future release. You can use the discussion board for it if you like (in fact I encourage it)

      4) That would be great! I made a lot of changes after the first translation was done, and my translator has been swamped. Check out PoEdit and pull the po file from the rootspersona directory. When you’re done send the file and I will include in the release

      Thanks for your support, and feel free to suggest enhancements.

  29. Just wished to submit and want to know where you obtained your theme? I’m shopping around for one for my new blogging site and really appreciate yours. Thanks.

  30. Just had to say “Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! ” I have been working on my family tree for quite some time and HAD a website up but wanted to change to WordPress format. Had trouble, as you can image, getting all the info posted, so the site has floundered for the last few years while other projects took priority. Literally, just found your plugin, rootsPersona, and within an hour of finding the plugin, had all the info up and posted. Have 1300+ people in the family tree and was concerned that it might timeout or fail, but works like a charm. Did I mention… Thank you!

  31. Virginia says:

    Hi Ed, I’m having some trouble … sure hope you can help me out! Yesterday, I installed the plugin, uploaded my gedcom file… started adding people, testing the website after each dozen or so added and it was working beautifully! However, when I got down to the last bunch and tested the site, it gave me an error message about it being over the limit. So, I removed the last batch of pages that had been added (didn’t want to have to do all 3300+ over again, so I deleted them from the ‘view all pages’ menu. Went back and checked the site and it was working again. However, then I tried adding the last bunch again, went to check the website and it was totally blank… nothing… nada! I have tried everything since then… deleted all pages… cleared the database… reuploaded the gedcom (at this point, it the site was back, except none of the links would work. So, I did all the above again, and, thinking that my gedcom might be the problem because of a lot of names in my database have no surnames, I fixed them all with ‘UNKNOWN’ in the surname field, re-uploaded it again… added names a few at first, checked the site… nothing still. I’ve tried deactivating and reactivating the plugin. still nothing. I looked on the server and it seems the wp-content/rootsPersonaData directory is not there. Is it supposed to be with the newest version? There is also no ‘plugins/rootspersona/rootsdata’. Maybe these were from an earlier version? Anyway, I’m getting the header of the page, but nothing else now and it seems so odd since it WAS working when I first installed it. It seems to mess up when I get down to the last few names… maybe there are too many?

  32. Ed says:

    Hey Virgina, welcome to rootspersona. Sorry you are having issues.

    Bottom up…

    wp-content/rootsPersonaData and plugins/rootspersona/rootsdata, as you suspected, are from the 1.x version, and are no longer needed. Also, missing surnames should not cause issues either.

    The only size restriction I am aware of is that 3300+ might REALLY slow down WordPress. Loading few hundred at a time was a good idea, since loading that many at a time might cause the upload to time out.

    Your message about “it gave me an error message about it being over the limit” is curious, as the plugin itself has no limit error message. I am wondering where you saw that message? What were you doing at the time? What limit? I don’t know of a page limit that is enforced by WordPress either.

    Totally blank usually means a PHP error that I can’t trap is occuring and the page just stops. Annoying I know.

    A couple of things to try. First deactivate then delete the plugin. This should delete all (most) pages and all tables the plugin uses. Make sure the only pages in WordPress are ones you expect – no rootspersona “litter”

    Second, install the plugin from scratch. This will create a bunch of empty database tables, and 2 or three pages.

    Third, go to the options page for rootspersona and check (and save) the debug option.

    Fourth, try to upload the LAST GEDCOM file, the one you think pushed you over the edge.

    Fifth, add pages for the people in that file.

    If at ANY point there is a problem, look for debug.log in WP_CONTENT, or error.log in the apache (are you using apache?) log directory. If you are using a hosted site, there might be an error.log in the root directory of your site.

    Send the file to me and I’ll get back to you.

    If no error, continue uploading and adding, but work backwords through your files this time.

    If your willing to send me your GEDCOM, I don’t mind testing it on my test site either. ed at ed4becky dot org

    We’ll get it working!

  33. Virginia says:

    Hi Ed, I wished I had checked here sooner to see if you had left a reply! I was expecting a notification in my email.
    Ok, first, I should mention that the problem doesn’t happen as a result of uploading the gedcom file. That’s fine. It occurs when I ‘Add uploaded Persons’. Even if I add them 50-100 at a time, once I get down to the last 100 or so of the 3300 names, the front end website crashes (not the rootsPersona tool.)
    Since I posted my message, I contacted my hosting support and explained what was happening… here is their reply:
    There are several of these errors in MySQL’s error log, which are likely
    from what you described:

    120124 10:39:34 [Warning] Aborted connection 11474314 to db:
    ‘morand_wardfamily’ user: ‘morand_4’ host: ‘’ (Got timeout
    reading communication packets)

    MySQL’s documentation lists several possible causes for that, with the
    most likely caused being that your MySQL connection exceeded the
    wait_timeout setting or the max_allowed_packet setting. Here are how those
    settings are set on your server:

    wait_timeout = 120
    max_allowed_packet = 2M

    Those settings cannot be changed on any shared DB server, so you may want
    to make sure that your scripts work within those settings. If you need
    those settings to be raised that would only be possible on a dedicated or
    virtual private server.

    Here is a link to the MySQL documentation that I mentioned:
    This answer has me baffled because of the fact that this problem happens even when I only add a small number of people at a time…. so how can it exceed the max_allowed_packet ?
    Also, I do not see an error.log in the root directory of my site. Nor do I have debug.log in WP_CONTENT (even though I have it in debug mode).
    I have started everything over again and am as we speak adding back the the people pages a small number at a time… again (I’ve done this so many times now that the page numbers are now like this:
    Page 22552 created for I1690
    Hope we can sort this out,
    btw, I see now that I need to click the ‘notify’ box to get an email notification πŸ˜‰

  34. Michelle says:

    Hi, firstly thanks for the plugin, it sounds great, just what I am looking for! I am currently trying to get it up and running on my personal WP 3.3.1 network site. I can see rootspersona 2.5.0 under the settings tab and its options, but the rootspersona under the tools tab shows a blank page. I am presuming this is where I should be able to upload my GEDCOM file and get things set up? Any plans to get it running on WP 3.3.1 on a network setup (I see it is not yet compatible with the latest version as yet)? Any ideas on what may be wrong and things I could try? Cheers, Michelle

    • Ed says:

      I’ve seen that before when it didn’t install properly. I’v e never been able to determine why it doesn’t install the database 100% of the time. Can you uninstall and try installing again? How are you installing?

      I am running it on 3.3.1 myself – its just that no one hit the works on button…

      What do you mean by network setup? I run in locally and on a hosted server…

      • Michelle says:

        Thanks for such a quick reply Ed! Originally installed via the WP Admin interface, will manually try to re-install it now and see how I go. By network setup I mean I am running multiple WP sites on the one WP install. So I install plugins via network manager admin and network activate it, then go through to the individual site dashboard and customise it for that particular site I want it on. Will let you know how I go. Cheers, Michelle

      • Michelle says:

        Hi Ed, Just an update to let you know I have manually re-installed the plugin and have discovered it seems to work for my main site, but for the other multisites the rootspersona under the tools tab still shows a blank page. I actually want to use it on my personal site which is one of the additional sites attached to my network (I have a multisite setup as outlined here:
        I will have a see if I can work out what is happening and let you know how I go. Thanks again for your help so far. Cheers, Michelle

    • mark says:

      The plugin is not working for me in multisite either. Had no problem with single site install.

  35. Shennon says:

    Hi Ed! Quick (or maybe not) question. Does rootspersona allow separate trees, and if so how do I implement that feature. I tried to, but it kept trying to tie them together and mix a couple of pages together, picture from one tree to a page on another, and adding people from one to the other. If this is done in the batch id’s, I couldn’t get the 2nd batch of people to integrate with the people’s list. I do have several trees that do not intersect (that I have worked out yet, fingers crossed though) and I wanted to display what I have in easy to manage trees.

    Thanks for your time!

    • Ed says:

      The batch id is meant to manage what you are looking for. GEDCOM file loaded into separate batches have NO links to each other – they are totally separate (unless something goes wrong ).

      The reason the second batch doesn’t show up is that no index is create form them automatically – you have to create an index for the second batch yourself.

      If you edit the Person Index page, you will see this: [rootsPersonaIndexPage batchId=”1″/]

      Just create a new page, Title it what you will, and add this is the content: [rootsPersonaIndexPage batchId=”2″/] (or 3, 4, etc…) Viola, an index for the second batch…

  36. Byron says:

    I have a couple of questions…

    First I love this feature. I have been looking for an option like this for years.

    Next, if I update my tree on ancestry, is there a way I can update it with your plugin without having to delete everything and starting from scratch? This will be a problem because I will have to protect over 1100 pages again.

    Last question, why won’t the photos upload with the GEDCOM files/ This will make the plugin awesome times two! πŸ™‚

  37. Byron says:

    Why can the photos fom my gedcom file attached to my word press? Also, when I update my family tree on ancestry, do I have to delete all the files on my word press and re upload in order to add the new information ? Is there a way I can only upload the updated records?

    • Ed says:

      Sorry I missed your post, I was working on the next release.

      In THEORY you can reload a GEDCOM as many times you want, and the data will be updated with no changes to the pages.
      In REALITY, poses a challenge:

      rootspersona uses the INDI field to uniquely identify a person. If it finds a match for the INDI filed in the database, it updates the data, otherwise it adds the person anew.

      The problem? Each time you export a GEDCOM from, it reuses the same INDI fields. So the first time INDI 10001 might be Freed Barker, the next time Albert Einstien. The next time you import into rootspersona, the data for Albert overwrites the data for Freed.

      I should note that is not doing anything wrong, its just that other programs try to assign each person the same id everytime, which was the assumption rootspersona was built on.

      As for image data – that’s a question every genealogy program gets. The thing to note is that images are NOT stored in the GEDCOM – a directory entry is pointing to the image is. The images themselves are stored in some file system somewhere. So a program like rootspersona would have to resolve the directory entry, download every image (IF it can get access), upload every image to WordPress, and link each WordPress copy back to the correct person. A challenge for ANY program.

      Family Tree Maker 2012 is able to do it cause it has ‘inside information’, both to the unique person ids and the image locations. Its also not web based, so it doesn’t have the timeout issues a web page would.

      I hope this helps

  38. Byron says:

    Ok.. I got the picture thing. What I may not understand right now is that if I make corrections on ancestry and then upload the updated GEDCOM file on rootspersona, no new pages will be created and all of the page settings will remain the same? Also, do I have to delete the GEDCOM that’s currently loaded or will the updated GEDCOM automatically override the GEDCOM that is currently in use?

    The way I handled the privacy issue with living people is that I made the family tree accessible only via log in. Those logins are monitored by me to assure only family has access to the information.

    Finally, when you are done with the upgrade you are currently working on, when the new update is added, does everything stay the same with little or no corrections needed to be done?

    • Ed says:

      If you upload a new GEDCOM, existing data gets updated and pages get created only for any new data, no need to delete existing data.

      CAVEAT: if the id gets reused for someone else (unfortunately very likely with ancestry data) you data could be trashed. If you don’t have any page customization however, you CAN delete the GEDCOM and load a new one – but any existing links will be changed.

      Privacy – that should work fine.

      plugin upgrades do not (negatively) impact existing data/pages in any way.

  39. Byron says:

    P.S. You are saying that if ancestry assigns the INDI to another family member that is being used by another family member, then my mom’s information will show my dad’s?

    Example: my mom INDI 1001 is assigned too my mon then when I upload an updated GEDCOM file and ancestry assigns INDI 1001 to my dad. Then my mom information will be overridden by my dad’s information? If so, what happens to my mom’s information? Does it go away are goes some place else?

    All I want to do is update the GEDCOM when I get new information and import and be able to see the changes immediately and no extra work to do to get the pages back to where I need them to be. (I.e. these pages are all protected… I don’t want to have to go and protected all of the pages all over again.)

    • Ed says:

      Unfortunately with ancestry data specifically you are correct; Dad would overwrite Mom, Mom would disappear (or move if she is in the new GEDCOM with a different id) It gets messy. You can deleted the GEDCOM and reload it, which would move everyone around but not corrupt them. You just want to be sure everyone is included in the new GEDCOM every time.

      No one has come up with a good solution for this – I’m open to suggestions (and can offer the issues for each one πŸ˜‰ )

      If you use the privacy features of the plugin (see the options page and change the default to members only), you do NOT have to update any pages to make them private when new GEDCOM loads are done.

      If you want to continue this discussion, let’s use email – ed at ed4becky dot org

  40. karine says:

    I put the last version 3.0.5 and now fancybox doesn’t work.
    What is the problem?

  41. Richard says:

    I just discovered rootsPersona yesterday, and after a bit of finagling got it installed and reading my GEDCOM file. However, my tree is fairly large–around 8000 individuals. Consequently, rootsPersona is so slow as to be virtually unusable. πŸ™

    Are there any obvious ways to speed it up? Full disclosure: I’m a certified MySQL DBA/architect, so feel free to dive deep. Your indexing looks pretty efficient; I haven’t turned on the general query log to see if there are any obvious places to look for bottlenecks, as I figured it’d make more sense to start with the developer.


    • Ed says:

      I suspect its not the query speed anyway, but that WordPress itself is getting too much data. For instance, generating any kind of drop down menu that includes all the people pages? Even a drop down within a drop down? The amount of data being transferred over HTTP for that many people is enormous – you don’t want to do that. View source on the slow to render page will show you how much data is being transferred.

      All the people pages should be created under a ‘parent Page (I think I called it Rootspersona Tree), and that parent page should NEVER be included in menus, sidebars, etc – it is strictly there so that the child pages are NOT exposed via menus.

      Then you can pick and choose specific pages you DO wish to expose on a menu, or just use the Person Index and/or Evidence Index. (the same issue exists if you have a lot of evidence pages)

      So is this possibly the issue?

      Be glad to work with you on sorting this out. Feel free to email me directly – ed at ed4becky dot org

  42. Jim says:

    Funny SQL error on my end. Running ver 3.07 and I am having trouble with the plugin not setting up the SQL tables when installed.
    By running the SQL create script I can create the tables, however it creates them without the wp_ prefix, starting with just the rp_, and when the plugin is looking for anything (like wp_rp_indi) it cannot find it.

    For example – going to tools in wordpress I get the following –
    Table ‘wordpress.wp_rp_indi’ doesn’t exist::Roots_Persona->build_roots_tools_page, call_user_func_array(403), do_action(151), require_once(10)
    The table rp_indi does exist, but wp_rp_indi does not. So, what am I doing wrong???

    Short of editing the SQL script is there any way to correct this?

    • Ed says:

      Two issues here: first is that install doesn’t create tables. This is a known issues on SOME setups, have never been able to recreate it myself. Would LOVE to solve it, but since it doesn’t happen for me…

      2nd – when the code runs the SQL scripts, it uses wp CODE TO DETERMINE THE DATABAES PREFIX DEFINE DIN wp-confg to find (may not be wp_) and adds it on the fly – so if you want to go that route (works for most folks) you do have to manually prepend the database prefix to each rp_ table name.

      • Brian says:

        Hi Ed, I’m having exactly the same problem – Table β€˜xyz.wp_rp_indi’ doesn’t exist in Tools. The tables aren’t being created. Install seems to be successful. Nothing in apache errorlog. Given that you can’t reproduce this, and I can’t avoid it (!), is there anything I can do by way of diagnostics to help?

        • Ed says:

          Sorry you are having issues Brian, and I think I’ve managed to get everyone by it sooner or later. Would you be willing to run with a special version that I will add additional debug info to?

  43. Chris says:

    Plugin looks great – before I start using it I have a quick question. Do you know if it works with a privacy control plugin such as “Members” “Page Restrict” or “WordPress Access Control”?
    Thanks, Chris

  44. Harold says:

    Hi Ed, thanks for the plug in. I’m getting the following error message when I try to upload a gedcom 5.5 file.
    Cannot open file /data/temp/phpXOtpuE::Roots_Persona->upload_gedcom_handler(780), Roots_Persona->build_roots_tools_page, call_user_func_array(403), do_action(151), require_once(10)

    Can you help?


    • Ed says:

      I’m guessing by the directory this is on a Linux system?

      The plugin uploads the GED into a temporary file on the server file system. Is it possible the file permissions don’t allow read/write access inthat directory?

      • Harold says:

        Hi Ed,

        Your suggestion was right on the money. I got things sorted out with my service provider and everything is up a running. What a wonderful plug in and thanks for your quick response. It’s not often that we are lucky enough to get support directly from the developer.

        Thanks and keep up the good work.

  45. Harold says:

    Thanks Ed,

    I’ll check with my service provider and let you know. I have a Mac.


  46. cminicola says:

    Hi Ed, thanks for producing such a great plugin. I have one small issue – the Facts section seems to be repeating certain entries. See this page for an example:
    In my gedcom I have the following:
    1 IMMI
    2 DATE 13 JUL 1904
    2 PLAC New York, USA
    1 RESI
    2 DATE FROM JUL 1904 TO NOV 1922
    2 PLAC Peterborough, Ontario, Canada
    2 ADDR
    3 CITY Peterborough
    3 STAE Ontario
    3 CTRY Canada
    1 IMMI
    2 DATE 14 NOV 1922
    2 PLAC Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
    1 RESI
    2 DATE AFT NOV 1922
    2 PLAC Roseto, Pennsylvania, USA

    I was hoping these entries would be ordered by date but I’m not too concerned as long as we can figure out why the two residence events are repeated.
    Many thanks, Chris

  47. Brian says:

    Hi Ed,
    I’d be delighted.
    Cheers, Brian

  48. Thirzah says:

    Hello, just FYI

    I had issues importing, with error:
    “Data too long for column ‘suffix’ at row 1::Roots_Persona” (and more)

    I resolved this when I increased the ‘suffix’ field to varchar(256) in table ‘wp_rp_name_personal’.

    (possibly a smaller increase would have done it, not sure).

    Lovely plugin, otherwise πŸ™‚ thanks πŸ™‚

  49. Thirzah says:

    um, well, “of Coddenham and Needham Market” (32 chars). Which is unlikely to come up again, I imagine πŸ˜‰

    The original gedcom file was created with Family Origins(R) for Windows (I was not the creator).
    PAF accepted it as an import, however, and let me re-export it (with that suffix intact), for using on the web.

    So I guess, it seems that these bits of software are ignoring the spec – so not sure if you would want to allow for that or not πŸ™‚

  50. Steve Thorpe says:

    I have loaded my GEDCOM into WordPress from Legacy 7.5. several times. Each upload duplicates many, but not all names. I go through and select all the names to be added. I then go to the Index and click on a name from that would be about the 15th generation, but in the dependency chart, it only shows to the 4th generation. This doesn’t happen to all the names, only a few. I have gone back to Legacy to verify the GEDCOM and all seems to be in order. Can you say why some of the names would duplicate? Or why some would not show the complete dependency chart? I am a novice at this, so you’ll have to talk to me layman’s terms.
    Thank you.

  51. I use Next Gen Gallery for my picture galleries and RootsPersona for my genealogy. Both programs have worked well for quite some time. Now when I go into “Manage Gallery” I get “Sorry, no such page.” In order to edit my picture galleries I have to deactivate RootsPersona.

  52. Charles says:

    I’m totally lost. Where do we download the GEDCOM file and what editor do we use to edit the file? The installation instructions just say upload the plugin and turn it on. I’ve done that but have no clue what to do next to get my family tree running. HELP?


    • Jim says:

      Most genealogy programs will allow you to export your data as a GEDCOM file. My sister uses and I use gramps. There are many others that you can use, some easier some harder. If you have been compiling your genealogy for a bit you can enter the data to them and export the GEDCOM. One thing you should realise is that if you upload pictures to the genealogy program, they will not export to the GEDCOM file and you will have to re-enter them for Roots Persona. If you haven’t started then you’ve got a lot of fun ahead of you. You will have to enter what you know, then start hitting up family members to add to it! πŸ™‚
      Good luck, and I hope you find some famous people in your family tree!

  53. ED says:

    Check in the admin page under tools..


  54. Anders says:

    Just started using Rootspersona today. I have a problem with the index page not showing all of my 30 entries. When I look at my website from being logged into WordPress the index page shows all 30 entries. But when I visit my website not logged in to wordpress the index page is missing 7 entries only showing 23. They same problem has occured when uploading other gedcom files (only 60 out of 100 entries showing). The index page is not showing all entries when i visit my website logged out of wordpress?? Please let me know what to do to fix this problem?

    The same problem occurs when I change the default number of entries per page.

  55. Anders says:

    I just found out myself:-) The living privacy settings was not public. That was the reason why there was missing some entries from index page when not on WordPress. Problem solved!

  56. Tim says:

    I am having a similar issue — some form of conflict or ?? between these 2 plugins.

    The menu options in wordpress for nexgen initially flash the right screen … but they quickly change to a ‘no such page’ as it adds some rootspersona stuff to the end of the link.

    Don’t know which plugin produced the problem …

  57. Robert says:

    RootsPress doesn’t seem to have the same problem as RootsPersona. However, I’ve restorted to creating a weg page in my Legacy program and then uploading to a sub directory.

  58. byron says:

    I am having an issue adding photo to my family tree.
    When I click on the browse link the screen goes dark like it is trying to call up the browse window to allow me to attach a photo but nothing happens.

    I am using rootspersona 3.1.2.

  59. SteveO says:

    Nice product Ed. Uploaded my 3,000 name GEDCOM without anomalies. Pages display well. Lot’s of options. As others have posted, an ability to breakup the index page would be helpful. Paging through 3,000 names is a bit cumbersome.

    Is there a way to create the pages full width page template? Currently uses the default which has a sidebar. Is there something in the database I could change?

  60. Nigel says:

    First time I down loaded the plugin, it all worked well with the two people I picked to test it appearing in the person index. I then made a couple of changes and now I don’t get these details, just a message which says ‘This is somewhat embarrassing, isn’t it?’ . The details are there, as I can find people via the search option.

    Secondly the marriage details of my chosen people don’t appear, but birth, death and other facts do.

    What do I need to do to rectify these errors?

  61. Roeland says:

    Thank you for the plugin rootsperona !
    I have made a Gedcom file with family tree maker (ancestry). The fact “divorced”is not displayed in rootsperona (this is annoying for some family members, because in rootspersona they are still maried). Hopefully this can be solved in the future.

    Roeland from the Netherlands

  62. roeland says:

    I have a problem with the photo privicy. When I select “members only”, the pages are non visible to non- members. But when I select a media link (to the photo), there is non security, the photo is acessible for non-members!

    Roeland from the Netherlands

  63. Roeland says:

    Thanks voor rootspersonia plugin !

    Hopefuly you could help me:
    a) I have a serious security problem with photo’s. When I select “member only” the page’s are not visible for non-members, but when I use the media link from a photo, this is accessible for non-members.

    b) I use additional the plugin Members to secure page’s and photo but this is not working with rootsperonia. I can not sucure the photo’s

    c) I use Family tree maker (ancestry). The facts “divorced” and “occupation” are non visible in rootspersonia. For some family members this is annoying, because in rootspersonia they are still married (hopefully someting for the future).

    Roeland from the Netherlands

  64. Neil Errey says:

    Hi Ed, Thanks for a great plunin. I have been helped by me son in law to set up our Web site and have managed prety well so far and I am thrilled with the results, thanks so much. I have over 11,000 family member. I am using Legace 7.5 and usually add the gedcom entries in 3 attempts. A to end of E the F to end of T the the rest.
    The only problem we have not been able to solve is an error message on a small number of family. It happens when you cary out a search for one or two family members or move forward or backwards and arrive at them. Cane you please sugest a fix. I have looked at the gedcom file in notepad but nothing obvous seems to be there except that one person has a little larger amount of history details. Hoping you can help. Thankjs for a great plugin. Neil Errey

    error message as is mostly is

    Thomas Peter Webb ERREY

    Fatal error: Allowed memory size of 33554432 bytes exhausted (tried to allocate 685948 bytes) in /home/err25090/public_html/wp-includes/post-template.php on line 167

  65. David Parker says:

    I am using wordpress 3.7.1

    The default parent page is operative. But this does not prevent all the persona pages appearing on the front page menu. Editing the menue makes no difference – theoretically these pages should not appear.

    I also note that if I make the parent page invisible the other pages revert to ‘no parent’

  66. Madong says:

    Rootspersona can’t install on Worpress 3.7.1.
    how to correct this?


  67. ED Klyne says:

    Hi Ed
    I like your program and just want to tell those that wish to try it on their computer first to download XAMPP ( and upload to their site with Duplicator ( once they are satisfied with their final genealogy tree and have problems ironed out.
    All resources are free including yours and XAMPP is also available for MAC (
    Only thing I would change is the ability to change and update info on site.
    Thanks and thank you for your excellent work.

  68. Hi Ed…thanks for the great work! I installed rootspersona yesterday on my new WP site (hosted by Dreamhost — no shell access without paying extra) and everything seems to work fine except: 1) uploading GEDCOM produced by (4.6MB, a few thousand names) proceeds for a bit and then seems to try to open a nonexistent page, which throws a 404 error in a separate window. The people seem to have been loaded, but it looks like it craps out while processing, because when I create pages for the people, they work, but the little three-generation tree under each person doesn’t populate with parents and grandparents.

    I tried uploading those directives in a file called phprc under directory ~/.php/5.3/ and I have no idea if that is having an effect or not. Ideas?

    Thanks again!

  69. David Lovrien says:

    Really like the plugin – hope to go live with it soon. The Surnames plugin breaks my WordPress theme though – some bad HTML in there or something… I don’t think each line is supposed to be indented from the one above, is it? Can you post a fix for that? Thanks…

  70. David Lovrien says:

    I was also surprised at how much memory is required to display some pages. I simply increased the max memory limit in my php.ini file to 64MB:

    memory_limit = 64M

  71. Joseph Arrington says:

    This may have been asked and answered, but am I understanding correctly that I could do the following to overcome the various limitations of PHP?

    Create multiple GEDCOMS and upload all to the same batch ID, create one family tree.

    Gedcom1.GED (200 records) —> batch ID 1
    Gedcom2.GED (30 records) —> batch ID 1
    Gedcom3.GED (75 records) —> batch ID 1

    = 1 family tree with (hopefully) 305 records.


    Gedcom1.GED (200 records) —> batch ID 1
    Gedcom2.GED (30 records) —> batch ID 2
    Gedcom3.GED (75 records) —> batch ID 1

    = 2 family trees, one with 275 records, one with 30 records


    Gedcom1.GED (200 records) —> batch ID 1
    Gedcom2.GED (30 records) —> batch ID 2
    . . . some time later on . . .
    Gedcom3.GED (75 updated records) —> batch ID 1

    = 2 family trees, one with 200 records, one with 30 records, and 75/200 updated

  72. Dave Clark says:

    I get this error (on the Plugins Admin screen) after installing your latest plugin version and WP version 3.9.2

    Fatal error: Call to a member function remove_cap() on a non-object in /home3/mfa/public_html/wp-content/plugins/rootspersona/rootspersona.php on line 787

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