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SOZA FAMILY NEWSLETTER Vol. 3, No. 1 February 1995

For thirty years this writer has dedicated himself to the discovery, research, and writing about the Soza and Sosa families of Arizona. This writer is now past the biblical allotment of three score and ten years. The time has come to think about the "succession of leadership".

It has been suggested that Incorporation as an Non-Profit educational / historical organization would be one way to achieve continuity and permanency. This approach would require funding, and leadership talent; dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of the Soza, Sosa legacy.

Newsletters have been an essential and important vehicle to disseminate information and generate support for past projects and activities impacting the extended Soza, Sosa families, i.e.

Sosa - Carrillo - Fremont Museum
The Plaza of the Pioneers at Tucson Museum of Art
Brick Pathway - AHS - Marley Center
Family Reunions 1975 - 1982 - 1994

Newsletter should be continued and improved, to maintain the continuity that is so essential to any strong and successful organization. Writers with an inclination toward family historical research would be critical. Currently, 525 families in 18 States receive copies of the newsletters.

How can the Extended Soza, Sosa families legacy be preserved, enhanced, and extended for future generations? Your ideas and thoughts are cordially solicited.

Driven by the notion that the names of Arizona's earliest hispanic homesteaders should not remain in darkness, two manuscripts have been completed; bringing light to research material on the Homestead Act of May 20, 1862.

National Archival material was extensively used in an effort to fashion as accurately as possible the homestead process experienced by these pioneer applicants. After three years of steady and faithful application, two manuscripts have emerged;

1. Hispanic Homesteaders in Arizona 1870 - 1908 Under the Homestead Act of May 20, 1862. (425 pages).
2. Mexican Homesteaders in the San Pedro River Valley and the Homestead Act of May 20, 1862. (87 pages)

The first manuscript is an authoritative and definite compilation of all the hispanic homesteaders in the Arizona Territory for the period 1870 to 1908. With over 2500 entries, it traces the paper trail of every hispanic homesteader who may have filed homesteads in the Arizona Territory during 1870-1908.

From the National Archives, Washington, D.C., pertinent copies of homestead files were obtained and made part of this manuscript. The homesteaders represented in these files are:
Antonio Campa Soza Placido Campa Soza
Nicolas Campa Soza Juan Soza
Jose Soza Leonides Montano
Jesus Maria Mungia Michael McKenna

Further, to assemble this volume, twenty four (24) different sets of archival records were examined. These records are part and parcel of the Arizona State Land Records at the National Archives, Pacific Southwest Region, Laguna Niguel, California. Every hispanic homesteader's name was excerpted, catalogued and indexed. The finished product represents unique and useful tool to quickly identify the homesteader, date, location, acreage, and whether a patent was issued. An alphabetical index precedes each chronological index, facilitating the search for any homesteader.

It was felt that this volume "could be extremely useful to reference libraries throughout the southwest". Encouraged by this assessment, and taking advantage of Desk Top Publishing, five (5) copies were printed and gift manuscripts were donated to:

1. National Archives, Pacific Southwest, Laguna Niguel, CA
2. Huntington Library, San Marino, CA
3. Arizona State Library & Archives, Phoenix, AZ
4. Altadena Library, Altadena, CA

The second manuscript recaptures the Mexican homesteader settlement on the San Pedro River Valley 1870-1908. Names such as Apodaca, Borquez, Commaduran, Pacheco, Mungia, Soza and many others resonate throughout the text as the past is gleaned from the official records.

Reproductions of official homestead applications, documentation, and letters are included to illustrate the paper trail, Gift manuscript copies have been donated to the above, excepting the National Archives.

Anyone interested in a personal purchase, or is able and willing to underwrite a gift donation of these manuscripts to any university library, historical society, use the ORDER FORM below.

Unable to identify the parents of ancestor Sosa, has stalled efforts to research beyond the 1746 birth date of ancestor Jose Maria Sosa, at Jecori, Sonora, Nueva Espana. A new tack is to search for the earliest Sosa to arrive in Nueva Espana, and then work toward 1746.

A compilation of Sosa individuals appearing in various history references from 1505 to 1726 is currently underway. This material will appear in a third manuscript when sufficient data has been collected.

Two brief vignettes appear below:
Don Lope de Sosa appears to be the earliest Sosa that may have some remote connection to the Sosa, Soza families of Arizona. Lope de Sosa served as Governor of the canary Islands 1505 to 1515.His eldest son, Juan Alonso Sosa was with his father in the Canary Islands.

In 1516, he was named Governor Designate for Tierra Firme, and Castilla De Oro (Old Panama). Finally in 1520, he sailed from the Canary islands with 300 soldiers. On May 20, 1520, Don Lope de Sosa died in his cabin as he dressed for his formal landing , and to assume his jurisdiction. Again, his son was with the Governor at Castilla de Oro and Tierra Firme (Old Panama). After the burial of his father, Juan Alonso Sosa returned to Spain.

Don Juan Alonso Sosa subsequently arrived in Mexico City in 1531 and was appointed royal treasurer for Nueva Espana. Within six months, he married Ana Estrada, the daughter of his immediate predecessor, the former royal treasure Don Alonso de Estrada.

Juan Alonso Sosa obviously was very well connected through family, marriage, and position. He was also experienced in administration as he served under his father at the Canary islands, and was part of the expedition to Old Panama.

Other Sosa individuals appear in references and documents through the 16th to 18th century. They served in government, military, miming, clergy, and as settlers. Some distinguished themselves while others appear only as footnotes.

Some early references from 1531 to 1726 are Lope de Sosa, Juan de Sosa, Juan Alonso de Sosa, Gaspar Castano de Sosa, Captain Francisco de Sosa Penalosa, Estevan Illan de Sosa, Juan de Sosa,
Captain Alonso de Sosa Albornoz, Fray Francisco de Sosa, Juan de Sosa, Domingo Julian de Sosa, and a "Sossa" at Presidio Fronteras, Sonora in 1726.

NONE, repeat NONE of these sosa individuals have been linked to the Soza family ancestor Alferez Jose maria Sosa (1746-1810).

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