One child made his First Holy Communion last fall. Four kids are getting Confirmed later this year. One is applying to seminary. I need proof of my sacramental marriage. None of us has a complete and up-to-date sacramental record. I don’t even have a birth certificate.
Because of moving, vital family records or sacraments are recorded over 10 locations. Most of the official record keepers did not record the sacraments properly. Now, years later, I am scrambling to find a picture of my sons’ First Holy Communion or get a letter from the officiating priest (thank God he’s my brother) as proof it happened so their baptismal certificates can be completed.
I was musing on Facebook that I am going to compile these records and hand them to my kids to take care of on their own once they are 18. There was much debate about at what age a child can be entrusted with these precious but replaceable documents, however, many military wives revealed they have the same system for organizing these papers. I admit, I used to have a similar system, but moves and more children threw us into disarray. My friend Chrissy graciously shared table of contents of her “moving book”, created by her mom back when she was a military wife.
Document Title Location
- Birth certificate Tab A
- Baptismal certificate Tab B
- Marriage certificate Tab C
- Shot records Tab D
- Insurance policies (life and property) Tab E
- Social Security cards Tab F
- Deeds and or Mortgages Tab G
- Power of Attorney Tab H
- Copy of Will Tab I
- Bank Books Tab J
- Car registration/Title/Insurance/Licence # Tab K
- US Savings Bonds, stocks, mutual funds Tab L
- Last LES Tab M
- PCS orders Tab N
- ID cards Tab O
- Passports Tab P
- List of previous addresses and contacts Tab Q
- __(Homeschool records?_______ Tab R
- _________________________ Tab S
Each tab is a plastic sleeve filled with whatever should be in there. Chrissy used to have them in a binder but now she sticks the sleeves in an expanding file. She keeps it in a fire safe box. She says it has served her well for over 20 years.