An ancestral home is the place of origin of one's extended family, particularly the home owned and preserved by the same family for several generations. The term can refer to an individual house or estate, or to a broader geographic area such as a town, a region, or an entire country. In the latter cases, the phrase ancestral homeland might be used. In particular, the concept of a diaspora requires the concept of an ancestral home from which the diaspora emanates.
One author has said of the phrase, ancestral home, that it "tends to conjure up images of European barons dining in chilly halls while dark portraits and empty suits of armor peer down silently". However, it is also possible that "[t]he family living in an ancestral home is surrounded by visible, physical symbols of family continuity and solidarity".
Ancestral homes are important in Chinese culture and society. There are sources that specifically describe these as the home of the patriline. Research showed that these home-place identities are crucial in identity negotiations and identity processes in the country.
Aside from speaking the Chinese language and "acting" Chinese (e.g. the worship and veneration of one's ancestors), having an ancestral home in China is part of being Chinese for those who live overseas.
Ancestral homes in the Philippines kept by generations of the same family.
The traditional Thai house has acquired its own unique style after hundreds of years of evolution, made from wood and raised over pillars, it is adapted perfectly to its environment. Different architectural styles are displayed depending on the region of the country, differing mostly in the kind of decoration and finishes that are used locally. Thai houses have in common, no matter in which area of the country are built, the manner in which their platform is raised over poles offering a shield against rough weather, wildlife and dirt.
It has been noted that "[t]he term "ancestral home"—usually applied to manor-house and halls of the county—is far more applicable to [small] cottages", because wealthy families may die out or otherwise relinquish their land while poorer families continue to occupy the same homes for generations.
- Russell King, Anastasia Christou, Peggy Levitt, Links to the Diasporic Homeland: Second Generation and Ancestral 'Return' Mobilities (2015), p. 1.
- Aaron Yankholmes, "The Articulation of Collective Slave Memories and 'Home' among Expatriate Diasporan Africans in Ghana", in Sabine Marschall, Tourism and Memories of Home: Migrants, Displaced People, Exiles and Diasporic Communities (2017), Ch. 11.
- Julia Lichtblau, The Old-House Journal (1984), Vol. 12, p. 167.
- Ernest Watson Burgess, Harvey James Locke, Mary Margaret Thomes, The Family: From Traditional to Companionship (1971), p. 450.
- Lew, Alan A. (2004). Seductions of Place: Geographical Perspectives on Globalization and Touristed Landscapes. Oxon: Routledge. p. 280. ISBN 978-1-134-65187-0.
- Dillon, Michael (2018). Chinese Minorities at home and abroad. Oxon: Routledge. ISBN 978-1-351-84603-5.
- Gunde, Richard (2002). Culture and Customs of China. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 35. ISBN 978-0-313-30876-5.
- Country Life (1898), Vol. 3, p. 196.