Coming Soon!

No secret stays buried forever.

In a small Midwestern town during the 1950s, Evelyn, a young wife and mother, methodically documented her life through various hobbies: taking photos, creating scrapbooks, and keeping...everything. But in doing so, she inadvertently lays the groundwork for her future granddaughter, Allison, a young wife and mother herself, to unearth a hidden past.

In 2015, Allison gave her father a consumer DNA test as a gift. Unexpected results appear, which drive her to investigate the boxes of memorabilia Evelyn left behind. What she discovers forces her to make a choice between taking on the mantle of a secret keeper or bringing to light the truth of a 60-year-old story in the making. But if Allison shares her inherited secret, she risks betraying the memory of a grandmother she thought she knew and faces the reality of altering her father's entire family tree.

The Record Keeper is a true story about three generations of DNA, genealogy, and memory. In this touching personal narrative, Allison seeks to understand how family and friendships, motherhood, and marriage can be torn apart by betrayal and abuse--yet mended together with an imperfect beauty by forgiveness, time, and love.


Allison Lawrentz Barnhart grew up in Ashland, Ohio, and graduated from Ashland University which included a year intensive at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh. While working as a full-time graphic designer, she enjoys her life as a wife, mother, daughter, sister, cousin, friend, artist, gardener, and family historian. Genealogy research has been a constant love of hers since grade school. With the encouragement of her amazing relatives on all sides of the tree, she has been on a decades-long
mission to not only build her own family’s story and write about it but to help others find joy in discovering their origins and tell their stories. Allison resides in Ashland, Ohio, with her husband, two children, a rescue mini-dachshund, and an orange tabby they found in their garage one day.