Alta Zara and Adam Finger were my great grandparents. My father was William Ross Legg, his mother was Emily Mae Finger Legg, and her parents Alta Zara Finger & her father Adam Finger. I also have an aunt, Alta Sue Legg, who was named after her grandmother Alta Zara.
Alta Zara and Adam had 12 children, the last of whom was my grandmother, Emily Mae Finger Legg. When Alta Zara was an elderly widow, for the last 10 years of her life she lived with her daughter's (my grandmother's) family, including my father when he was a little boy. She was receiving her Civil war widow's pension (from Adam Finger's Civil War service in the Union Army) until her death, probably around 1930.
My info does not agree with your other poster's response who thought she was born in 1837, that was probably Adam's year of birth, not Alta Zara's. My understanding was that she was very young when she married Adam, 16-18 when she was married, hence she was actually born around 1848-50. My grandmother was Alta Zara's 12th child, a great surprize born when Alta Zara was almost 50 (in 1898), so that also places her birthdate around 1850.
The way Adam and Alta Zara met was that during the Civil War, when Adam Finger stopped at Alta Zara's family farm while he was a Union soldier whose unit was moving thru the area. Even though the Alta Zara's family was Confederate, Alta Zara (who was in her early teens at the time), took pity on him because his clothes were frayed the buttons had fallen off his uniform, so she sewed them back on for him. He apparently was so gratified by her kindness (and charmed by her), that after only a week in the area, before his unit left, he told her that she should wait for him and he would come back after the war was over and marry her... she of course thought it was all flirting and talk, but he indeed did come back several years later, when the war was over, and married her!
After the married, Adam wanted to return north or seek their fortunes in the west like so many did at the time (perhaps feeling as a stranger being an ex-union soldier in confederate territory), so at one time they left Tenn. and got as far as St. Louis in attempt to join the rush to Calif, but Alta Zara hated the trip and what she saw along the way and got too homesick and wanted to go back to Tenn. so badly, Adam finally agreed, and they turned around and went back & lived the rest of their lives there, including a happy marriage with 12 children.
Anyway, i was told that Alta Zara was either one-half or full-blood Cherokee, so it is very likely that her father was fullblood Cherokee. It was also not common to openly acknowledge Cherokee ancestry in Tenn. at that time, due to prejudice against Indians in general, so the exact percentages of Cherokee blood were not always clearly spoken of, though admitted within the family... so the family could have very well been full-blooded, though admitting to only part, no one in my family knows for sure. I have an very old picture of her probably taken in the 1880's-1890's and she does indeed look to be at least half Cherokee in her features (dark straight hair, high cheekbones, etc.), traits that still run in my family (and which i myself have a couple generations later).
Hope this helps.
Aimee Legg Konrad
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