I did about an hour's research at the genealogy library today, searching records for Davidson and Randolph Co., NC. Unfortunately, there were few records in the genealogy room for Randolph Co. What I found in Davidson Co. and Franklin Co. records solved, at least in my mind, the question of whether Nathan Hall could be the father of your John A. Hall.
Franklin Co. Marriage Records:
1. Nathan Hall to Celia Wall, 8 Sep 1836, witness Cordy Freeman, S. Patterson.
2. Thomas Hall to Temperance Wall, 15 May 1820, Lewis Harrison and S. Patterson, witnesses.
(I suspect that Nathan and Thomas may have been brothers, or were most probably related in some way.)
Since Nathan married Celia in 1836, but your John A. Hall was born in 1824, this rules out Nathan and Celia as the parents of your John A. Hall. I do think, however, that Nathan was perhaps an Uncle to John A. Hall.
The Thomas Hall marriage to Temperance Wall in 1820 makes Thomas seem like a much more likely candidate to be the father of your John A. Here's why:
a. Thomas married Temperance in 1820 in Franklin Co., NC, and your John A. Hall was born in July 1824 in Franklin Co., 3-4 years after their marriage. So the dates certainly work.
b. Thomas Hall appears in land records for Davidson Co., NC, by December 1824 as follows: Thomas Hall, of Davidson Co., deed 24 Dec 1824, to Jacob Cook, sold 8 acres on Holman's Creek, adjacent Thomas Hall's line, said Cook's original line; witness Britain Heymore, Pleasant Langley.
Also, Thomas Hall, deed in Davidson Co., 23 March 1826, to Jacob Gobble for $120, 75 acres on Holiman's Creek; witness Andrew Swicegood, Britain Walser. Prov. Sep. Session 1826.
These land transactions indicate that a Thomas Hall (can't prove he's the one who married in Franklin Co.) was in Davidson Co. by Dec 1826, after your John A. Hall had been born. If this Thomas is the father of John A., this tells us why John A. moved into Davidson Co. at one point; he went with his parents when he was a child.
c. I wonder, since your John A. Hall named his son John Thomas, was the middle name of Thomas taken from John's father being Thomas Hall? It's a guess.
WILLS AND TAX LISTS: Searching for a potential Hall surname about 1820-25 in Franklin Co., in an attempt to find John A. Hall's father, I found these in the 1820 Franklin Co. tax list:
Brittan Hall, 206 3/4 acres, 1 white poll, 3 black polls
Robert Hall, 187 acres, 1 white poll, 4 black polls
Sarah Hall, 336 acres, 2 black polls
Since Thomas Hall married in Franklin Co. in May 1820, he was probably not a landholder yet and therefore not taxed in this assessment; but it does beg the question of whether either Brittan Hall, Robert Hall, or Sarah Hall was a parent of Thomas Hall, and therefore could one of them be a grandparent to your John A. Hall. It's all conjecture at this point.
I found no Wills in Davidson Co. for any HALL surname about 1825-1860.
OTHER MARRIAGES DAVIDSON CO., NC:
John A. Hall of Davidson Co. to Rachel Fauts of Davidson Co., bond by Jesse Varner, 21 Nov 1846. (If this is your John A. Hall, why is Rachel not listed with him in the 1850 census where he is an overseer on the Lee plantation?)
John Hall Jr. to Nancy Hill, 28 Jan 1828, by Green Surrot (this is an ancestor of mine!); wit. Obh. M. Smith, J.P.
Martin Hall of Davidson Co. to Margaret Sullivan of Davidson Co., 8 Sep 1846, by Alfred Hargrave at Davidson Co., wit. Henry Bryant.
So, all of this put together doesn't really confirm anything. It does pretty much rule out Nathan Hall and Celia Hall as parents of your John A. Hall; however, I'd put money on the fact that Nathan and John A. are related; probably Uncle and nephew.
Hope this helps you. By the way, I found numerous marriages for women named Mary Dorsett, Polly Dorsett, and Mary or Polly Varner. I'd be careful about sorting those out because the names seem to be very common in both Davidson and Randolph Counties.
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