Looking at the Melton/Milton family in the 1850 and 1860 census records, and then comparing that to the land records and court records, you can see a few possibilities begin to take shape. Some individuals that show up in one record, do not in another, that is why I've decided to put these two together and then, by using information in the deeds and court proceedings, try to identify the individuals in the census records.
Henry H Melton 29 NC Carpenter b 1821 This is Henry Harrison Melton, from Land records, son of John Melton, Sr.
Martha 21 His wife Martha Kirk Melton
Robert S 21 Carpenter Son of Mary "Polly" Melton, sister of Henry H.
Julia A 1 Must have been firstborn daughter who died as a small child.
Mary Melton 46 From deeds, older sister of Henry H. and daughter of John Sr.
H H Melton 39 b NC
Houston 10 Samuel Houston Melton, became a prominent citizen and judge
Jane E 8 Only appears in this census.
Louisa 6 Sarah Louisa, married John H. Swaringen, moved to Cabarrus County
Mary F 4 Married 1st cousin Atlas D Melton, son of Joseph.
John 4 months old
James R Melton b 1821 NC
Mary Ann 24 Mary Ann Kirk
Davidson 1 married Sophronia Hearne
James R Melton 40 Grocer
Mary A Melton 32
Davidson H 11 Davidson Hearne Melton- moved to High Point
Ellen Douglas 9 Married I. W. (Buck) Snuggs
Wm Thomas 7 Migrated to Texas, married Isabelle Myers
Eliza C Kirk 19 Sister of Mary Ann
John Williams 40 Tailor Brother of Clementine Williams Melton -
Charlotte Melton 62 Some researchers have her as second wife of John Melton Sr. who died in 1845. Marriage license for John Melton and Charlotte Byers in Rutherford County. Rutherford County had large population of Meltons. Stanly County court records has her mother of illegitimate son Elbert Melton, to be brought to court to be bound out.
William Valentine 31 Blacksmith (mulatto)
Elbert Melton 25 Blacksmith (mulatto) Court records state son of Charlotte Melton
1860 Gold Hill Rowan County, NC
Elbert (Edward) Melton 38 House Carpenter
Houston Valentine 18 Day Laborer Perhaps son of William Valentine?
Ann Melton 28
Mather Melton 10
Christian Melton 7
Tamar J Melton 2
1850 Census of Albemarle, in town of..
House 832 Henry H Melton and family
House 833 David Austin family
House 834 Blacksmiths: William Valentine and Elbert Melton both mulatto
House 835 Daniel Lowder family
House 836 Wiley Hutson and wife Sarah Melton Hutson, and family. Daughter of John Melton, Sr.
House 837 James R Melton family (named oldest son Davidson Hearne Melton).
House 838 Davidson Hearne family
Census records do not show an exact layout of a community as we do not know the path of the enumerator or the way the residences were situated. They can, however, be taken as general proximity.
1850 Robert S Melton, 21, living with Henry H. (see above). Son of Mary per Stanly County court records, Sent to court to be bound. Illegitimate child.
1860 R. S. Melton 31 Master Mechanic, Camden, Ouchita, Arkansas.
Elisha Melton 10 Married Frances Marbry March 13 1862. Civil War Casualty. Widow later married Ervin Whitley.
Living in the family of John F Stone
along with Damaris Palmer aka Damaris Baldwin Palmer Russell
Note: There were several Melton children living with various families near other members of the Melton family. I am looking into the possibility that they were siblings of deceased parents related to the other Meltons.
1850 Freemans Township Stanly County
John Melton b 1804 Virginia 46
Nancy (Boysworth) Melton 46 (Moved to Gold Hill, opened a hotel)
Missouri 20 (had already married Jesse Tatum Forrest by then. Counted twice in the census. Must have been visiting her parents. Born prior to Nancy's marriage to John Melton. Alternately Boysworth/Melton)
Laura J 17 (married a Gill, moved to Gold Hill with mother)
Eliza 17 (married Franklin Cauble in 1851)
Caroline 16 (married James Mabry 1856 in Stanly County)
John Solomon 20 (also in census twice, son of Nancy Solomon)
David Melton 28 Farmer
Mary 30 (Boysworth, Sister of Nancy. Both daughters of Jonathan Boysworth and Martha Almond Boysworth
Eben 4 Civil War casualty. Married Tabitha Morgan. 1 child Henry T.
Davidson 2 (Davidson Alexander Melton. Moved to Roane, Tennesee)
Sarah Boysworth 18 (niece of Mary. Remained single and became favorite Nanny to children of Ellen D. Melton Snuggs, daughter of James R Melton).
Neighbors: Swaringen, Forrest, Bosworth, Shankle
Whitman Milton 15 more research needed. Possible brother of Elisha H. Melton?
Living with Thomas Biles, Jr. family next to Dosey Boysworth family.
1850 House 698
John Perry 43
Lewis C 22
Margaret Milton 8 shown in court records as bound to John Perry in 1841. Married R. G. Hiram Huneycutt.
Henry Milton 6 bound to John Perry in 1847
Elijah Perry 70
John Perry 51
Margaret Perry 53
Henry 15 apprentice (Henry Melton)
James Hinson 48
Nancy Hinson 47 Nancy Melton Hinson, daughter of John, Sr.
George Milton 7 married Elizabeth Crawford 1863. Served in Civil War
Margaret Hinson 5
Rebecca Hinson 3
Robert Blalock 50
Nancy Blalock 30
William Melton 28 migrates to Missouri by way of Arkansas.
Mary 22 (Mary Hinson)
Martha F. 1
John Lilly 18 nephew, son of Frances Melton (deceased) and John Hogan Lilly
next to Lydia Brown 28
James Solomon 45
Frances Solomon 44
Henry Bird 44
Benjamin Later living with one of the Melton's
Dr. F J. Kron
1850 Gold Hill, Rowan, NC
Harris Milton 26 This couple is mentioned in a Superior Court case in Stanly County that makes the history
Ann Bird 28 books. At the time they are in Stanly County/
1860 Gold Hill
Ann Melton 40 Housekeeper
William Melton 11
Living with A. W. Northern family son of Harris Melton and Ann Bird
1850 Montgomery County Joseph Melton and family have to be included in the Stanly County listing although they lived in Montgomery County. Joseph was a son of John Melton, Sr. and Margaret Wilkenson. He lived just across the PeeDee River from what was then Allenton and today is near present day Norwood, in between there and Mount Gilead.
Joseph 32 b 1818 NC
Susan 12 marries Joseph Mabry
Ann Jane 10
Sarah Ann McRae 6
Mary Ann McDonald 0
Clementine Melton 45 She is living near James R Melton and Charlotte Melton
Joseph D Melton and older son Green are MIA for this census. He remarries to Mary Ann "Polly" Solomon in 1868. Both Joe and his sons Green Jackson Melton and Atlas serve in the Civil War.