::sigh:: Dagnabbit I still can't make a connection.
Your John Ransom was probably born around 1890-1905 and his father John Z. in the 1865-1885 period. I can understand why we missed John Ransom but not why we missed his father*. I may be able to make a connection after mid January when I expect to get access for the 1st time to post 1900 censuses.
* Based on the information you have provided the odds are higher that John Ransoms parents were married before the 1900 census than not. Since we have no date of birth on John Z nor is there a John married to a Margaret in the 1900 NC census that means we are stuck for now. If however John Z was married after the 1900 census then there is no way we could have made the connection without some one in the family providing the hookup. I will keep looking.