Thanks for the response. I had seen the earlier censuses showing Nannie living with Robert, but I didn't feel like I had enough info to say for sure that she was the same Nancy as Ruffin's mother.
Do you have an opinion about the likelihood that William Tuck is actually his father? I've seen that name in relation to Ruffin Puryear, but only as an unsourced addition to someone's public family tree so I didn't know whether to trust it. There certainly are a lot of Tucks on the 1880 census, so it's possible. Do you remember where you saw this info? And/or do you have any other evidence that it's correct?
Also, do you have any other info or files that you would be willing to share with me about this particular Puryear line? I'd certainly appreciate the opportunity to learn more about them, as well as to verify what I've gathered on my own.