When I was first ordained, my first trip was to Slovenia in order to celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving with my family in my grandparent's home village. One of the things that I really wanted to do was go to visit the place where the sacramental records were kept for the parish in order to trace back the family history a bit. That is when we encountered a strange discouragement for doing so from family members. There seemed to be a general, "You can't get there from here," or "the road is closed for construction." Of course, in my head I am thinking, "There's got to be more than one way to get there," but there was also some language barrier issues so we let it go.
Then at the dinner after the Mass, my cousin handed me a wrapped tube. I opened it and there were photocopies of our family records going back to the 1800s. That was wonderful. I still have those records.
Today I spent some time signing our sacramental books at St. Sebastian, putting my name next to the records of those who were baptized or married by me. These records are meant to kept forever. What a terrible loss if there should be a fire and they are not well protected! Even in a closed parish, the sacramental books are taken someplace in the diocese (the parish with which it was merged or perhaps the archives of the diocese) so that they may be preserved for posterity.
What a thing it is to think that, perhaps in a couple hundred years, someone might open these books that I scribble in today to do research on their family line . . .
That is why we talk about Catholics having a permanent record. Every time you receive a sacrament, that information is sent to the parish at which you were baptized. So always remember where you baptized! Your whole sacramental life is recorded there!