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bundling, courtship practices, Pennsylvania Dutch, interview, Christ Geiger, mining


Handwritten notes compiled by Alfred L. Shoemaker, dated March 5, 1940. Within Christ Geiger relates an informant's experience with the courtship practice of bundling.

Corresponds to:

Packet 47-31


Christ Geiger. 3/5/40. Informant an 80-81 year old man, unnamed.

This old gentleman candidly confessed that he indulged in this form [bundling] of courtship just 60 years ago. He at that time began keeping steady company with the young lady whom he later married. Several times a week he would call on her, and ‘most properly’ he stayed and slept with her overnight. For the greater part of the second year, his control began to sag, due most naturally to association, and close association such as this, being bound to breed familiarity. Apparently the young lady was none too sure of herself, since she brought the question of discretion out into the open for discussion with the boyfriend. At that time my informant was employed in the mines, subject to all the dangers and hazards of that calling. The girl very sensibly admitted the gravity of the temptation besetting them in this manner of courtship, and questioned how much longer they could thus continue without throwing caution to the winds; and if that did happen, and she got into trouble, wasn’t there that dreadful chance that some mine accident might very easily and unexpectedly take him away from her illegitimate youngster? After careful consideration, they agreed to use sane judgment, and cut-out the courting in bed. From then on, he called as before, but returned to his own home to sleep. At the end of the third year they both felt they had enough money saved to get married. This they did and lived very happily until separated by death, some years ago.



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Account of Bundling Related by Christ Geiger, March 5, 1940



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