Click here for the John Martin Family home page. 3rd Generation - Sarah VanNess 

Sarah C. (VanNess) Mooney, the first-born child of Moses and Lucinda (Martin) VanNess, was born in 1847 near Camargo, Illinois (which was then in Coles County but was later included in Douglas County).  When she was 6 years old, her family moved to Fremont County, Iowa.  There she grew to adulthood and married Joseph Mooney on Christmas Day, 1865.  Joseph had been born January 1843 in Ohio (probably in Athens County or Meigs County), the son of James William Mooney and Martha (Irwin) Mooney (who was a sister of Mary Irwin Martin).

Joseph had served in two military units during the Civil War.  He first enlisted in the Missouri State Militia 5th Regiment Cavalry on 22 March 1862 at Rockport, MO, and mustered out on 22 June 1863.  A month later, 25 July 1863, he enlisted in Company A, Iowa 8th Cavalry Regiment and served until 13 Aug. 1865, when he mustered out at Macon, GA.  He was shot in the leg in November 1862, during a confrontation with the notorious Confederate guerrilla fighter Cole Younger.  The bullet remained in his leg for the rest of his life.

Joseph married Sarah four months after the end of his military service, and the two of them settled somewhere in Missouri, probably in or near Nodaway County (where Sarah’s parents were living).  We don’t know exactly where, though, because they are not listed in the 1870 census.  What we do know is that they had two children, who were both born in Missouri::

  • Alvin H. Mooney, 1867–1940 (married Emma Mary Pettingill).
  • Effie Mooney, 1871–1940 (married (1) ???? Burton and (2) James A. Miller).

Sarah apparently died sometime after Effie was born, and before 1880, though I have found no death record or cemetery listing for her.  The 1880 census shows her two children living with her parents, Moses and Lucinda VanNess, in Atchison County, Missouri, while Joseph (listed as widowed) is boarding with a family in Hill County, Texas.

Two years later, 20 May 1882, Joseph married Ida L. Palmer in Eastland County, Texas.  In 1889 (probably during the Oklahoma Land Rush), he and Ida settled in the area that would become Logan County, Oklahoma.  Joseph had five more children with Ida before she passed away on 10 June 1899.  (Ida had returned to her family home in Texas during her final illness, and she was buried there.)

Joseph remained in Logan County (specifically Guthrie) for the rest of his life, served a couple of years as the Logan County Street Commissioner in the early 1900s, and died there in 1908.  He is buried in the Summit View Cemetery.

If you can suggest any corrections to the information above or provide any further details about the lives of Sarah, Joseph, and their descendants, please contact me at the address shown in the image below:

Pete at John Martin Family dot org

Thanks,      
     —Pete Martin

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