SOZA FAMILY NEWSLETTER Vol. 2, No. 2 March,
1994 SOZA FAMILY REUNION, Tempe, Arizona, September 2, 3, 4, 1994
A very enthusiastic Tempe Reunion Committee cordially invite you
and your family to attend an outstanding historical event on the
occasion of the reunion of the Extended Soza, Sosa Families of Arizona.
EMBASSY SUITES HOTEL - TEMPE
4400 SOUTH RURAL ROAD, TEMPE, ARIZONA 85282
A group rate of $65.00 per suite, up to four persons, has been
arranged. Accommodations are two-room suites with separate bedroom
and living room with sofa sleeper. Complimentary breakfast and evening
refreshments each day. You must make your own hotel reservation.
Use the hotel reservation form enclosed.
Free airport shuttle available. Car rental agency at hotel.
HOTEL RESERVATION CUT-OFF DATE IS AUGUST 1, 1994.
FOUR PLANNED REUNION ACTIVITIES
"No Host" Gathering at hotel Open Event
Opening Ceremony 9 to 12 Noon, Open Event
AHS Museum, Marley Center, Open Event Music, Program, Brick Pathway,
Family Tree Exhibit, Refreshments
Soza Family Catholic Mass 2 P.M. Open Event
Dinner Dance Banquet Price $30. per person
Music, Program, Dance.
Reservations are limited to 300 in the Grand Ballroom and 50 in
the adjacent foyer. Dinner Dance Reservations by mail only. Reservation
cut off date is July 15th. No Ticket Sales At Door.
This reunion is dedicated to the late Ezekiel Rodriguez Soza (1915-1983),
in recognition of his geological survey accomplishments at the South
Pole. Zeke was born in Tempe and his parents were Jose Sotelo Soza
and Anatasia Rodriguez. For his work, he received the U.S.Department
of the Interior Antarctica Medal and the Antarctica Service Certificate.
Also, Mount Soza, Antarctica was named in his honor.
Treasurer N.A. Gonzales, Jr. reports:
As of January 31, 1994 total bank balance is: $1132.84. $600. is
reserved for the James E. Officer Awards in 1994 & 1995. This
leaves a balance of only $532.84 for reunion expenses.
REUNION SUPPORTERS To finance the Reunion, four levels of supporters
have been established. Family members are invited to support reunion
Benefactor $150 to $200 Patron $100 to $149
Donor $ 50 to $ 99 Contributor $ 25 to $49
1994 COMMEMORATIVE COFFEE MUGS
A fine porcelain 9 oz. coffee mug is being offered to help offset
reunion expenses. Coffee mugs are priced at $7. each and delivery
will be at the Reunion Registration Desk. We need orders for 500
mugs to meet the minimum order required. Wrap-a-round Design shown
JOSE CISNEROS DRAWING OF ALFEREZ JOSE MARIA SOSA
Famed El Paso, Texas artist and southwestern historian Jose Cisneros,
was commissioned to render a pen & ink portrait of Alferez Jose
Maria Sosa, and which has now been received.
The rendering is a very dignified Don Jose Maria Sosa, dressed
in period uniform, sitting erect on a beautifully proportioned horse.
Jose Cisneros' historically accurate equestrian illustrations have
been widely used in borderland book and magazine publications.
It is a great honor and pleasure having a Cisneros drawing of Don
Jose Maria Sosa, measuring approximately 20 x 25 inches, drawn specially
for this reunion. (Price for copies later)
The artist is familiar to many family members because of the two
drawings on exhibit at the Tubac Presidio. These drawings of Alferez
Jose Maria Sosa and Col. Juan Bautista De Anza were commissioned
and donated by Fred Soza of El Paso, Texas.
With thanks, we acknowledge the most recent donors:
Esther Duarte Cogley Theodore Duarte Dollie Halbrook
Maria C. Soza Beverly Soza Armando Soza
U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY MAPS OF INTEREST WITH THE SOZA NAME.
Map Name File # Scale Price
Mount Soza Antarctica AN00083 1:250,000 $4.00
Soza Canyon AZ 01353 7.5 minute $2.50
Soza Mesa AZ 01354 7.5 minute $2.50
Redington AZ 01190 15 minute $2.50
Order maps from:
U.S. Geological Survey Map Sales, Box 25286, Denver, Co 80225.
Alferez Jose Maria Soza (1746-c.1810) For many years, the birthplace
of Alferez Jose Maria Sosa, our family ancestor, and his parent's
names has been sought through genealogical and historical research.
Using English and Spanish texts of Juan Nentvig's RUDO ENSAYO,
written 1762, plus correspondence with the Military Archives in
Simancas, Spain, the birthplace of Alferez Jose Maria Sosa, our
ancestor, was confirmed. His parent's names remain unknown.
Don Jose Maria's birthplace was the small Spanish village of Jecori,
located on the Yaqui River between Cumpas and Moctezuma, Sonora.
He entered the Royal Spanish Presidio Forces in 1770, was promoted
to Alferez on December 26, 1794, and retired in 1799. He died sometime
Presidios San Ignacio de Tubac in 1774 and San Agustin del Tucson
from 1775 were both Spanish presidios where calvary man Jose Maria
Sosa rendered nearly 30 years of service. In the 18th century, Tubac
and Tucson were in the province of Sonora, Nueva Espana.
Jose Maria married Dona Rita Espinosa, who at one tine, was alleged
to be Tucson's wealthiest woman. She died April 16, 1820 at Tumacacori
and was buried there. Location of her grave is unknown. Their son
Jose Maria Sosa II married Gregoria Nunes and they had 8 children
as shown in the 1831 Tubac Census. This document establishes the
connection of our Soza, Sosa families to Alferez Jose Maria Sosa
of the Tubac and Tucson presidios.
Jose Maria Sosa II served briefly (1831) as the Civil Administrator
of the Tumacacori Mission properties at Tumacacori.
In the 1870's four descendants of Jose Maria Sosa II and Dona Gregoria
Nunes (Antonio, Placido, Juan, and Nicolas), changed their name
from Sosa to Soza. No written record has been found as to the reason,
though oral histories offer some explanations.
From what was past, we now look with great pride to the future
It is with great excitement and exhilaration, that I look forward
to meeting and greeting all of you as we gather in a common ancestral
celebration. You are a distinctly historical Arizona family with
documented roots and continued presences in the State of Arizona
since 1774. You are descendants of Alferez Jose Maria Sosa and Dona
Rita Espinosa and you can be exceedingly and justifiably proud of
your lineage and heritage.
Now a word of caution, The Embassy Suites Hotel ballroom has a
limited capacity as noted elsewhere. You are strongly urged to send
in your reservation at once. The Reunion Committee can better plan
for your total enjoyment and pleasure, if they know, as soon as
possible, how many will attend the Dinner Dance. Complete the enclosed
reservation and return at once. Welcome to Tempe and have a great
1994 TEMPE REUNION COMMITTEE
Edward Soza _ General Chairman
Virginia L. Sanchez - Co-Chairman
Katherine Lee - Treasurer
Henrietta Soza Aguilar - Recording Secretary
Roy A. Sosa, Robert J.Soza, Theodore Duarte, Ramona Hernandez
JAMES E. OFFICER AWARD: CALL FOR PROPOSAL
The AHS and Casa Grande Historical Society will be hosting the 1994
Arizona Historical Convention April 21 -April 23, 1994 at Casa Grande,
The CALL reads as follows:
"The SOZA family will present $300 for the best manuscript,
based on original research in primary sources, concerned with the
history of Arizona,s Mexican and Mexican-American population. There
are no limitations on the specific subject matter to be treated,
but manuscripts that deal historically with music, art literature,
and other cultural topics are particularly encouraged."
The first award was presented in 1993 for a manuscript first read
at the Historical Convention at Prescott, then published in the
Autumn 1993 issue of the Journal of Arizona History. The manuscript
by Patricia Roche Herring is titled:
"Tucsonense Preclaro (Illustrious Tucsonan) General Jose C.
Urrea, Romantic Idealist"
1994 SOZA FAMILY REUNION
To assist the Reunion Committee to properly identify your branch
of the family, please Check One:
Your Branch of the Family is:
Michael McKenna (1836) and Manuela Sosa (1854)
Jesus Maria Mungia and Luisa Campa Soza (1825)
Antonio Campa Soza (1845) and Francisca Gastelum
Antonio Campa Soza (1845) and Mercedes Federico
Antonio Campa Soza (1845) and Maria Jesus Moreno (1855)
Placido Campa Soza (1846) and Mercedes Elias (1853)
Juan Soza (1851) and Jesus Maria Sotelo (1856)
Nicolas Campa Soza (1856) and Juana Borquez (1858)
Ignacio Sosa (1831) and Maria Gertrudes Elias 1837