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SOZA FAMILY NEWSLETTER Vol. 7, No. 1 January 1999

Proudly, we announce the official kick-off for Soza Reunion 2000. It will be a remarkable gathering, commemorating ancestors Alferez Don Jose Maria Sosa and Dona Rita Espinosa. It will mark our family's arrival in Tucson from the Tubac Presidio in 1775.

Don Jose Maria Sosa was born 1746 at Jecori, on the Yaqui River, Sonora, Nueva Espana, (Mexico), and died in Tucson on April 2, 1800. He served at Presidios San Ignacio de Tubac and San Agustin del Tucson 1770-1800. His wife Dona Rita Espinosa de Sosa died at Tubac on April 16, 1820, and was buried next to the Holy Water basin in the Tubac Church on April 17, 1820. Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, CA This is the site of present day St. Ann's Catholic Church at Tubac.

Don Jose Maria Sosa's arrival in Tucson was occasioned by the relocation of the Tubac Presidio to the newly established Tucson Presidio on August 20, 1775; a date now designated by the City of Tucson as the city's founding date.

With this incredible historical background, descendants of Jose Maria and Rita can take great pride, in knowing that their heritage, history, and lineage is intimately associated with the Spanish Colonial, Mexican, Territorial, and Statehood periods of Arizona history.

It will be a reunion without parallel, elegance and splendor.
The tentative dates are August 18th, 19th, and 20th in the year of Our Lord 2000. More details will appear in the next newsletter.

The quality and character of the reunion will depend on how well family members provide financial support. Recognition Levels of financial support are:

Grand Benefactor Benefactor
$1,000. $500.

Patron Donor Contributor
$250. $100. $25. to $75.

The commemorative reunion dinner program will list all persons giving financial support. The earlier you respond, the earlier decisions can be made as to the quality of the reunion. Gifts can also be made in loving remembrance of deceased family members.

Mrs. Betty J. Lane, Historian, responded to our inquiry about the remains of Dona Rita Espinosa Sosa who was buried in the Tubac Church on April 17, 1820. A portion of her letter reads...
"Now, re Dona Rita Espinosa, widow of Alferez Jose Maria Sosa.

This "1820 vintage church" was probably built in the 1760's. Called Santa Gertrudis de Tubac church, it has been described as an "adobe structure, covered with wood, grass, and earth."

We know that in 1761 a visiting priest urged Tubac's temporary chaplain to build a church building in the form of a cruciform.
Apparently such was indeed built, for in 1766 the Spanish mapmaker Urrutia described the presence of such a structure. So it must have been completed between 1761 and 1766 or perhaps 1767, if this information is correct. It probably was the first church on the site of the present-day St. Ann's in Tubac, on Iglesia St.

We are told "It was used until it fell into such hopeless disrepair about 1900 that it became a pigsty." A new church was erected in 1912 called St. Ann's, but rainstorms two years later caused it to collapse. Our information is that this 1912 church "was raised upon the foundation of the Santa Gertrudis church, but had no floor and the pews were rough-hewn lumber.

The present St. Ann's was opened to parishioners on the same site in 1917. We are told that at one time four feet of fill dirt was added to the site so that the then-present structure (which one was not identified) was on a higher level. This probably covered several graves beneath the church floor. The old cemetery extended behind today's church building.

No doubt Dona Rita's remains (if there is evidence of them) still repose under St. Ann's. Some later remains were moved to the Tubac town cemetery a few blocks away."

May 1998 Newsletter reported that ancestor Sosa died on April 2, 1800. Reasonably, it can be assumed his burial was at the old Presidio Cemetery, which is bounded by present-day Court, Church and Alameda streets.

Mr. Fred McAninch, Curator of the Sosa-Carrillo-Fremont Museum, in Chronology of Cemeteries in Tucson, states that in 1776 a chapel and cemetery were added to the Presidio of San Agustin del Tucson.

During an 1992 excavation for a gas line, skeletal remains were found at the site of the former presidio cemetery. Archaeologists took charge and inventoried the remains; and repatriated the appropriate remains to the Los Descendientes del Presidio de Tucson. These were re-interred at Holy Hope Cemetery, where a Garden of Pioneer Heritage monument was erected by Los Descendientes. SOZA and AMADO surnames appear on the monument.
I first met Barry during Xmas Holidays 1944, at a North Central Steak House. I was home on leave, and re-united with former North Phoenix High School classmates. I even danced with Peggy Goldwater.

In 1974, I solicited Senator Goldwater for a donation for the restoration of the now designated Sosa-Carrillo-Fremont Museum. The Senator obliged with a generous donation; probably facilitated by the fact that I was then on the Board of Directors of the Tucson Heritage Foundation.

The last encounter was at the 1988 Air Force Academy commencement festivities. Barry walked into the Officer's Club dining room, looked over the crowd, and decided to go elsewhere.

Dr. Pradeau will always be remembered for his translation into English of Juan Nentvig's Rudo Ensayo , and for his gracious assistance, in locating the birthplace of ancestor Jose Maria Sosa. For years, this writer was erroneously searching for Tecori instead of Jecori. A 1762 map affixed to the text provided the ultimate lead, that Tecori and Jecori were the same.

In The Great Mausoleum at Forest Lawn, Glendale, CA, a plaque in the great hallway, honors the memory of this great Sonoran historian and numismatist.

Deeply appreciated are the sponsors of gift copies of Affidavits of Contest Vis-A-Vis Arizona Hispanic Homesteaders 1880-1908 to the following locations:
Name Donors
Altadena Library, Altadena, CA Family Member
Arizona Historical Society, Tucson, AZ " "
Arizona, University of, Tucson, AZ " "
AZ State Library & Archives, Phoenix, AZ Robert/Stacey Guzman
Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ Ramon Soza
Huntington Library, San Marino, CA Family Member
Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. " "
New Mexico Library, University of, Albuq. NM Carlos V. & Sue Soza
Sosa-Carrillo-Fremont Museum, Tucson, AZ Purchased by Museum
Southwestern Mission R. Center, Tucson, AZ Family Member
Tempe Historical Museum, Tempe, AZ Ramon Soza
Texas, University of, Austin, TX Fred Soza
Tubac Presidio State Park, Tubac, AZ Fred Soza
Tubac Historical Society, Tubac, AZ Family Member
Tumacacori National Historical Park, AZ Carlos V. & Sue Soza

Enrich your family's sense of history, heritage and roots, by visiting the following historical sites.

Sosa-Carrillo-Fremont Museum Tucson
Plaza of the Pioneers at Tucson Museum of Art Tucson
Arizona Historical Society Museum, Archives, Library, Tucson
Arizona Historical Society Marley Center (Brick walk) Tempe
Catholic Archives, Diocese of Tucson (church records) Tucson
Garden of Pioneer Heritage, Holy Hope Cemetery Tucson
Presidio de San Agustin del Tucson Cemetery (outline) Tucson
San Xavier Mission (Interior Restoration) Tucson
Tubac Presidio State Park (Presidio Ruins) Tubac
St. Ann's Catholic Church (Dona Rita's grave site) Tubac
Tubac Historical Society Tubac
Tumacacori Nat'l Historical Park (Mission) Tumacacori
High Street Cemetery (Yanez Family Plot) Benson
Soza Family Cemetery (12 Soza graves) Redington
Soza Ranch, Former (North of Benson) Redington
Soza Family Pictorial Hist. on Web Site, U of Ariz. Tucson

Treasurer Katherine Lee, Tempe reports a cash balance of $ 2,703.41 as of 12/7/98. This compares with a previous balance of $2,845.34 reported as of 4/17/1998. p/96 2,845.34

Grateful appreciation is warmly expressed to our most recent donors. Voluntary contributions make possible the continuing publication of this Newsletter.

Gonzales, Jr., Nazario A. Tucson, AZ
Guzman, Robert & Stacey Montrose, CA
Soza, Fred Austin, TX
Soza, Ramon Baldwin Park, CA
Soza, Larry & Mona Covina, CA
Soza, Phyllis F. Altadena, CA
Soza, Carlos V. & Sue V. Odessa, TX
Van Alstine, Anthony West Covina, CA

The descendants of Ester Soza Romero (1888-1961) and Theodoro Romero (1883-1955) gathered in reunion at Phoenix, AZ on November 7 & 8 1998. Ted Duarte, Mesa, organized the Saturday Dinner Dance and the Sunday family picnic. There were 140 at the dinner dance and 175 at the picnic.

The Soza connection is through Ester Soza Romero, late daughter of Juan Soza (1851-1915) and Maria Jesus Sotelo (1856-1936), Tempe pioneers, homesteaders, and founders of the Tempe Soza Branch.

Commemorative T-Shirts with the Romero Family Crest and Romero Family Tree were offered to participants. Organizer Ted Duarte, Mesa, AZ can be reached at 602-830-3309.

Check out the following Soza entries:

0 Bio: Juan Soza - Tempe, AZ
0 Robert L. Soza - U of Texas
http:// jenkens & gilchrist
0 Soza Family History
0 Soza Family History
0 Ray Soza and G- Grandmother
0 Vera Britto poesia - Soza
"Dibujo a Pulso" by Roberto Soza
0 Historia de Soza
As Origens de Soza, 1088 to 1514, Portuguese
0 Shari Soza's nutrition
0 Tucson Through ... eyes
0 Switch Blade Stampede Soza Interactive
0 Interior of Cliff Dwellings, -Soza Canyon, AZ


MEMORIA Ruby Frederico, 1923-1998 Mariposa, CA


Very best wishes for a glorious Yuletide Season and a Prosperous New Year. May Soza Reunion 2000 be the genesis of an invigorated millennial spirit in you and your family. See you at Reunion Y2K

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