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Matilda Dorsey Lightner


Mrs. Matilda Dorsey Lightner/Lytle was born about 1820 in Maryland. She was likely enslaved by Mr. Elias Yingling (1812-1887).

She was first married to a man named Dorsey, although we have yet to discover his first name. Their son, Charles W. Dorsey, served in Company F of the 4th US Colored Infantry, dying in service. Like many of his comrades, he succumbed to disease, dying of pneumonia at Point of Rocks, Virginia in February of 1865. His manumission (freedom from slavery) is recorded in the Carroll County Court Records in the summer following his death. Private Dorsey was freed by Mr. Yingling. This record indicates that Mr. Yingling may have also enslaved Mrs. Lightner, as a child was legally enslaved by the person who enslaved their mother.

Prior to 1870, Mrs. Dorsey married Private Stephen Lightner/Lytle. They had one child together. She became quite ill and died in the summer of 1878.

Mrs. Matilda Lightner is buried in an unmarked grave in Ellsworth Cemetery, near Westminster, Maryland.