Thanks for reading and commenting about my blog postings. My goal is to accurately document the genealogy of my family and allied families living in Chesterfield County, SC and Anson County, NC. If you have a Chesterfield County surname you are interested in please send me an e-mail.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Persistence = Results ~ Finding The Mother of Ruby Price

Two surnames that I have done extensive research on for the past 37 years are Rivers & Brock. I have chased these two surnames all over the Southeast.

Around November 2007 I received this request:

Have you any knowledge of a Rivers descendant named Hattie McCann, (unfortunately this is her married name, and I don't know her maiden name, her husband was Henry). She was the mother of "Ruby Price", my father's cousin that he went to live with (her and her husband, Olen Price) in Arkansas, after the 1936 death of his mother, Lucy Ellen Brock Rivers. I didn't find any reference to her in your book, but wondered if you have ever heard of any of them?[1]
This seems like such a simple request.

Find Hattie LNU[2] married to Henry McCann with a daughter Ruby that married Olen Price.
I’m not a professional genealogist; but, since this was related to two of my lines I decided to take a look and see what I could find.

My early attempts back in 2007 were not very fruitful. The only Olen Price I found was age 2 in the 1930 Census.[3]
The Social Security Death Index (SSDI) showed a Ruby Price that passed away on 6 April 2001 in Flint, Smith County, Texas. So I continue my look for Hattie McCann and Olen Price.

In late 2007, I sent my friend this comment

“I want Ruby's death Certificate to CONFIRM her parents. My gut feeling is that something is AMISS here. I've looked from 1880 to 1930 for a Henry McCann with a wife Hattie and have come up empty.”[4]
I received this note back:

“One other thing I do know, Ruby was living with her daughter in Tyler, Texas a few years before she died. The daughter's name was Mary Helen Smith (not sure if this was her last name), she had a Christmas store in Tyler, named "The Christmas Store". I went to her home to see Ruby a few times in the 1990's with my mother.”[5]
Off and on through the past 5 1/2 years I would take another look for Henry McCann with a wife Hattie and daughter Ruby. Still with no success.

Then last week I was looking at Arkansas marriage on FamilySearch and entered O. Price for the male and Ruby for the bride and lo and behold this record appeared.[6]

The record is for O. J. Price married to Ruby Bivens in Arkansas. The time and place is correct so I decided to follow this trail. Since I had already plowed through all the censuses for O. J. Price back in 2007 and 2008 I decided to see where Ruby Bivens would take me.

Ruby Bivens is not Ruby McCann but I realized over time that names can be mixed up, forgotten and other wise mangled. So I entered, Ruby Bivens with spouse O. J. Price living in Arkansas, into the search block on Ancestry and came up with this family tree:
You can see that this family tree has some of the same names and information that I was given. Primarily that Ruby Bivens is the Daughter of Harry McCann and Hattie McCann.


The other piece of information that I didn’t have is the full given name of Ruby’s husband – Orris Jester Price. Remember I had Olen Price as his given name.

Entering Orris Jester Price into Ancestry took me to the 1940 Census entry for Orris and Ruby where they are listed with their two children; names I already had from my friend.
Orris J Price, age 39
Ruby O Price, age 34
Lamar Price, age 14
Mary Helen Price, age 7

Source Citation: Year: 1940; Census Place: Norphlet, Union,Arkansas; Roll: T627_178; Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 70-38.[7]
Further research determined that Ruby Bivens parents ARE NOT Harry and Hattie McCann.

Ruby Bivens is the daughter of Egbert Jesse Bivens and Mary Hattie Brock and since her mother was a BROCK and I am a direct BROCK descendant I found Ruby hiding among the thousands of names in my database with her parents.

While I have not found a Marriage License for  Harry McCann to Mary Hattie Brock Blevins it's possible and very probable that Mary Hattie Brock Blevins remarried after the death of her husband Egbert J. Blevins on 13 August 1922. The 1940 Census data indicates a high probability of this happening.

1940 CENSUS: El Dorado, Union County, Arkansas; Roll: T627_177; Enumeration District: 70-8; Page 3A/108A (stamped); Line 22, Household #64; Henry McCANN, male, age 65, born in TX and Hattie McCANN, Wife , age 64, born in SC.
Tombstone Reading from Woodlawn Cemetery [8]

The Bivens, Rivers Lisenby and others left Chesterfield County, SC and moved to Arkansas sometime around the early 1890’s.

Lucy Ellen Brock, the Aunt of Ruby Bivens, is also the Sister to Mary Hattie Brock. Lucy Ellen Brock married Emerson Coit Rivers and they are the grandparents of my friend who ask me to find the connection to her line.

My friend and Ruby Price are 1st cousins once removed. Their common ancestor is their great grandparents Eli W. Brock and Mary Jane White of Chesterfield County, South Carolina.
I learned from this exercise that the Internet is an every changing entity with new information being added daily. The thought process of the human mind varies from day to day and tomorrow you might just try something you didn't think of today or yesterday. The moral of the story is to never give up; keep revisiting those tough genealogical problems on a routine basis. Now if I can just get this to work with my William A. Purvis brick wall.

Happy Hunting to you All!

[1] Stanley to Charles Purvis, e-mail, 23 November 2007.
[2] LNU = Last Name Unknown
[3] 1930 CENSUS: Franklin County, Donald, District 8, Arkansas; Mathie N. PRICE, age 27, Beulah B. PRICE, wife, age 30; Elmo B. PRICE, son, age 6; Everet R. PRICE, son,
age 4 3/12 and Olen C. PRICE, son, age 2, born abt 1928.
[4] Charles Purvis to Stanley, e-mail, 23 November 2007.
[5] Stanley to Charles Purvis, e-mail, 24 November 2007.
[6] --
[7] 1940 U. S. Census, Union County, Arkansas, population schedule, Norphlet, Union County, Arkansas, enumeration district (ED) 70-38, Page 5B/573B; Line 76, Household #94, Household of Orris J. PRICE; digital images, ( : accessed 2 March 2013); citing NARA publication Roll: T627_178.


  1. Congratulations on your find. Your persistence paid off. You give us all hopes of breaking through our brick walls.

  2. Charlie, I am headed to your part of the country. Will be visiting my son in North Carolina and then heading to South Carolina for a couple weeks. Along the way I plan to stop in the York CO Library in Rock Hill SC. I am in hopes of finding information about my Brumfield family who lived in York Co c1780 - 1813. Hoping for warm weather & fruitful research.

  3. If you get over toward Greensboro or High Point let me know and maybe we can meet for a short period. You do know that early York County Probate records are on line. Try this link:


  4. Try this link also for your Brumfield

    Just type Brumfield in the 'Individual" block and a list of names will pop up.


  5. Charlie, thanks so much for your hard work and persistence. It's great to finally know about Ruby and Price (that's what she called him). It answered some questions in my genealogy search.