This is very interesting, thank you. I had found a Henderson Drury, b. 1813, son of Charles Drury of Halifax Co. NC and his wife Charity Marshall. Henderson died in Lowndes Co. MS in 1857, so his slave were apparently sold, as by the time the civil war ended his wife Esther was living with her daughter and little money. I would make sense that Lucas Vanarsdale would purchase his slaves from someone close to where he lived. My thinking was that since Ruffin was born in NC, they would have been his owners prior to Vanarsdale while Sarah/Sally born in SC probably came from a Drury family.
On the other hand, the fact youh ave a James D. short or Drury, connected to a Ruffin family opens up a door. The question then is, the connection as far as the purchase of slaves between Lucas and your family. So often the time of the largest sale was to settle an estate. You didn't mention the connection between the James D. and the Ruffins?
With out deeds of sale and purchase or plantation books, it is very difficult to do anything but "guess" and neither exist. I have all the Vanarsdale deeds and there is ony one slave sale listed and that of a woman in 1840, no connection to Ruff and Sally.
Thank you so much.