It is not unusual to find that a Free Person of Color owned and manumitted members of his own family. This was done through the county court or by the last will of the slave owner. The following entry in Caldwell County, Kentucky Court Order Book E, page 423 illustrates this process.
"This day John Montgomery (a free man of Color) produced in open Court a Deed of emancipation setting free his woman called Abbey (his wife) and his infant Son named Jackson which Deed is here ordered to be recorded to wit: Know all men by these presents that I John Montgomery (a free man of Color) of the County of Caldwell and State of Kentucky from motives of benevolence and humanity have manumitted & do hereby manumit & set free from Slavery my negro woman Abbey, aged about thirty three years of black complexion and my infant Son Jackson aged 6 months, And I hereby give grant, & release to her the said Abbey & my Son of all my right, title, & claim of, in & to these person, labour & services and in and to the estate & property which they have hereafter acquire or obtain. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand & seal this 15th Feby 1836."
John and Abbey Montgomery can be found on the 1840 and 1850 Caldwell County census records. They do not appear on the 1860 census, but their oldest son, Jackson, is shown living in nearby Dycusburg, Crittenden County, Kentucky.
Published 19 July 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog, http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/