While clearing out 60 years’ worth of stuff from her parents’ house in Echo about a month ago, Annette Sharp’s grandson Austin Worsham, 13, discovered a family heirloom – but one that doesn’t belong to anyone in their family.
It was a wedding band from 1942 that was mixed in with a bunch of coins in a plastic bag. And now Sharp is on a mission to look for the family of the ring’s owner so she can return a piece of their family’s legacy to them.
“Mother would keep baggies of coins and she would have Dad’s old 35-millimeter canisters that she would put quarters in,” said Sharp.
Her mother is the late Joan Ann Beauregard Hathorn and her father the late Kellett William Hathorn. She doesn’t believe that her mother knew anything about the ring.
“I was just turning stuff over to Austin for him to do what he wanted with and he discovered the ring,” she said.
The ring is inscribed with a marriage date, 12-4-42, alongside two sets of initials, “CWL” and “LSL.” Sharp initially thought one set was “CWP,” but as her daughter was showing the ring to others, they concluded that the last letter may be an “L” instead of a “P.”
“I looked at the initials on there and I got with all of our family historians, if you will, and nobody could place that with a family member,” she said.
Her oldest daughter, who is clairvoyant, wore the ring and told Sharp that it didn’t belong to any of their family members. It was something used to barter.
In a vision, her daughter saw was two women having a conversation and a man in the background telling one of the women, “Yes, it’s okay to do it.”
“And it’s 14k gold which seems lends some credence to the fact that they used it to pay for something between my grandparents and whomever,” she said.
Sharp’s grandparents on her maternal side were Octave Guy and Anna Needham Beauregard.
“And they probably had a little more than everybody else,” she said. “And I suspect that somebody came to get money or borrow money. Or perhaps even pay for their sharecropping. I don’t know. But I would love to give this ring back to the family.”
Sharp got in touch with St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church in Echo to see if they had records on who was married on that day.
“They had one wedding on that date and it was Dauzats,” she said.
They suggested she get in touch with the St. Alphonsus Catholic Church in Hessmer. Unfortunately, they have no records of anyone who married on that date.
So that makes her think the couple may have been Protestant.
There are so many families in Echo that start with “L” such as the Laombes, Lamberts, Lachneys.
“I don’t even know how to narrow this down,” she said.
Sharp spent most of her life in Baton Rouge but now lives in St. Helena Parish. She usually returns to Echo at the end of October every year to put flowers on the graves. So while she was here, she decided to look around the cemetery to see if “anything stood out.”
Sharp hopes by sharing the story that maybe someone would be able to put them in touch with the right family so she can return a piece of their history.
For anyone who might be able to help her on her quest to find the family, Sharp can be contacted at email@example.com.
“Surely people would recognize the wedding date, I would think,” she said.