Here is what I understand from my relatives.My grandfather (Elmer Damron Aiken) was formerly of a Texas family who was supposedly relatively prominent.He supposedly married a woman in Texas in the wake of the Galveston flood--the marriage ended badly.Supposedly he then had a falling out with his family (possibly about the marriage) and left the area.My mom said he then traveled the country and met my great-grandmother, Zella Maxey.They married on 6-3-1908 (my mom believes that my great-grandmother told her in Oklahoma).
They then lived in Arkansas (possibly Jonesboro)and on May 4, 1909 when my grandfather, Johnnie Elmer Aiken was born.They moved to Memphis to live. They were married only 4 years when Elmer died on June 28, 1912 in Memphis of infection (see attached death certificate from the Shelby county Register of Deedshttp://register.shelby.tn.us/imgView.php?id=2489819120628)http://register.shelby.tn.us/imgView.php?id=2489819120628).The death certificate mentions that he was from Texas and his father was a "J H Aiken" which I believe to be James Herman Aiken.(Although on the certificate his mother's last name was listed as "Damerson" my mother says it was, in fact, "Damron".)He is also the correct age to have been the "Elmer Damron" from this family.
When I spoke with my mother this evening she also remembered that Elmer had a brother named James who once looked up the family in Missouri years ago to offer a small inheritance of some sort.
If this is true, then I don't know the circumstances surrounding the, apparently, severe break in relations between my great-grandfather and his family.My mother speculates that it could have been that my great-grandmother came from a family that didn't have the social standing that the Aiken family did. I have yet to delve into the other side so I don't know if this is true.