All free males 21 years of age and older were required to be listed on the yearly tax rolls in Kentucky. Owning land was not necessary to be listed.
The age at which a person could be exempt varied from state to state. In Kentucky exemption was determined on an individual basis and was granted by the county court because of infirmity and often combined with old age. A person might petition the court for his own exemption or a group of neighbors and friends might petition for him.
The following petition was made on behalf of T.J. Hackney of the Bells Mines area of Crittenden County, Kentucky in 1869. The 1860 Crittenden County census shows Hackney as age 60. By 1870, he was living in Caseyville, Union County, Kentucky. This document was located in loose county court bundles in the Crittenden County Clerk's Office.
"Bells Mines Ky Aug. 26: 1869
To the honorable County Court of Crittenden County & state of Kentucky we the undersigned Citizens of Bells Mines district state that we are well acquainted with T.J. Hackney & know that he is not able to earn his living, & he hereby petitions to the Court to be released from payind [sic] pole tax. [signed] J.A. Sarlls, W.J. Wilson, Wm. J. Miller, Ewell Travis, J.M. Bennett, H.J.[?] Bennett, John Brantly, F.J. Imboden, W.C.M. Travis, J.E. Guess, R.M. Adamson, J.T. Black, JP."
Published 9 October 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog, http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/