A few days ago I wrote a post about the origins of Hand Fasting, about jumping over the fire and a broomstick laid on the ground.I mentioned this to one of my Pagan group, about people still living "over the brush" in Yorkshire. She said,"Not only in Yorkshire! All over Europe and the United States."
She said that there was once a popular song about it. So I looked it up, and there it was! Recorded by Brenda Lee, and many others.
"Let's Jump The Broomstick". It has lyrics such as "Let's jump the broomstick; let's tie the knot" and "Let's jump the broomstick, let's settle down".
So, it must have been an old custom in the USA, as well as Europe!
Indeed it was. In the southern Appalachians in the 1700's and early 1800's it was quite common. People who settled that area were largely of English, Irish, and Scottish descent and brouth many of the customs of their country of origin with them. In the early days of the mountain settlements most communities lacked a local church and minister, reliying instead of "circuit preachers" who might come around once a year or even less. Keeping the old customs was a way of having a recognized husband/wife relationship right now instead of waiting for the preacher. Many of these weddings were later solemnized in the church when the minister came to town.