Family histories have a place of prominence within Preservings. It is often through the writing of the intimate and the personal that Mennonites have addressed broader themes within their history. Therefore, it is fitting that the theme of this issue is the trajectories of family life. Why use the term trajectory? To draw our attention to the ways in which our individual lives are influenced by the decisions and events that shift the fortunes of our families; to find the moments and decisions that reverberated through our community and, in some cases, transformed the outlook of subsequent generations. While the term trajectory might seem to some as too restrictive and narrow to describe the complexities of family life, the sense of momentum conveyed in the word is helpful for highlighting the force by which decisions and events, both large and seemingly small, shaped the paths open to individual families.