Collecting Ancestral Homelands

Map of the Earth with several stamps superimposed above countries

Collecting Ancestral Homelands

Virtual Exhibit

Do you already collect stamps or do you want to begin? If you are new to the hobby, you might have a large album that is divided by country, and you collect stamps from many places. Or you might have decided to specialize—that is, to organize your collection around a particular theme. Perhaps you collect stamps that feature baseball players or flowers or airplanes or poets. The possibilities are endless.

Some people collect the stamps of their ancestral homeland.  What does that mean? An ancestor is a relative born years ago, perhaps in a different country. So an “ancestral homeland” is the country from which your parents, grandparents, or great-grandparents—your ancestors—came before they settled in the United States. In fact, you yourself might have come here from a different country. Some people call that country the “homeland.”

Why should you consider collecting the stamps of your family’s ancestral homeland? You should collect them because they will teach you a lot about the history, the politics, and the culture of that country. Even more important, they offer insights into your own family’s past and experiences, and so they will teach you something about your own heritage.

Numerous “ancestral homelands” collectors share their stories here. Just select the below photos to learn about the collectors, their collections, and their favorite philatelic items.