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SOZA FAMILY NEWSLETTER Vol. 2, No. 4 October, 1994

The Reunion and parties are over, but the lights are still glowing. Euphoria is everywhere. It was an illustrious event that will be remembered long after the lights are extinguished.

Virginia L. Sanchez Co-Chairman and her highly talented committee rendered a superb performance, marked by excellence and professionalism. Refinement, quality, and generosity were in evidence throughout the celebration.

Wall to wall music by Mariachi Continental Azteca Friday night, Saturday morning and Saturday evening was absolutely enthralling.
The commemorative dinner dance program was designed as a historical document, containing a genealogical history of the family, a dedicatory tribute to the late Ezekiel R. Soza, and an inspirational poem written by Christine Soza Terrill.

The specially commissioned drawings by Jose Cisneros of Alferez Jose Maria Sosa enhanced the cover of this historic document. A dignified figure, on horse back, dressed in period uniform is the way famed El Paso, Texas artist Cisneros chose to portray our ancestor.

The program was further adorned with a Cisneros drawing of Ezekiel R. Soza at the South Pole. The 17 Soza Family cattle brands, on the back cover, continue to serve as a reminder of the family's homestead settlements in the San Pedro River valley. Unfortunately, the Juan Soza cattle brand was not in the cattle brand reference book used for the original program design.

Family members purchased keepsake copies of the Cisneros drawing, Soza Family Tree, and Commemorative Coffee Cups. The Cisneros drawing copies were completely sold out. Reprints will require a higher price to cover cost of printing a small order, postage, handling, and shipping container. Order details on page 8.

For the benefit of those that were unable to attend, several special features are here reproduced. If you missed this reunion, VOW NOW that you will not miss the next one in the year 2000 at Tucson. That reunion will mark the family's 1775 arrival at the Presidio de San Agustin del Tucson from the 1774 site of the Presidio San Ignacio de Tubac.

The Family Memorial Mass at the stunning, beautiful contemporary Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church, with piano and vocalist liturgy rendered by Cristina Torres, added yet another memorable and outstanding dimension to the Reunion. Profound gratitude to the 1994 Reunion Committee for a very dignified and distinguished reunion. Sincerely Edward Soza

Reunion Prayer
Our Heavenly Father, hear our prayer of thankfulness for this day and this reunion. We are very thankful for the Reunion Committee and all their volunteers, and for their dedication towards making this historic event possible.

As we pray, we invoke the names and memory of extended family members, that have now inherited the heavens. We pray especially for those that left this life, since our last reunion. May they enjoy the glow and glory of our Heavenly Father. We pray for those unable to be with us, because of illness and poor health. We also pray for those that are poor in spirit, and hurting in other ways.

Our special prayer, is that the extended Sosa, Soza families will continue to enhance their sense of pride of who they are and what they are; and that their actions will always be governed by
decency, honesty and integrity. This is our prayer, in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Banquet Invocation
Our Heavenly Father once again, we come before thee in a prayer of thankfulness. Thankfulness for the privilege of meeting so many members of our extended family. They have all come with a singleness of purpose: to find and to follow their roots.

We pray again for the dear souls that have left this life since our last reunion. We pray that they are basking in the glow and glory of our Heavenly Father. Keep and protect them into eternity.

As we pray and reflect on our extended family, we individually invoke the name and memory of him or her most dearest to our heart.

As we partake of this bountiful table prepared for us, we ask that you bless this food to our health and to thy greater glory. Amen.

Katherine Lee, our Reunion Treasurer reports the following financial details of the 1994 Reunion at Tempe.
Total Receipts $17,511.55 (Includes $3,808. donations)
Total Expenses $14,757.36
Balance on Hand $ 2,754.19

This balance will be used for future newsletters, genealogical, and historically related activities, dealing with the Extended Sosa, Soza Families of Arizona.

The Soza Spirit

September 2, 3, and 4, 1994, three days of great celebration!
For all the families here today to show their undying admiration!
This is the opportunity to show our immense dedication,
To uphold the SOZA ancestry for future generations.

The SOZA ancestry was established in 1774.
Presidio San Ignacio de Tubac was the original core.
In 1775, San Agustin del Tucson was the next location tendered, Where Jose Maria Sosa, a cavalryman's 30 year of service rendered!

The year was 1870 and homesteading was statutory.
Our SOZA predecessors began to seek their territory.
From the San Pedro River Valley to the town of Tempe.
The SOZA'S were 1870's settlers with roots to the Hayden Family!

A Topographical Engineer, you see.
Who were proud as can be.
From 1961 to 1963, ZEKE performed vast surveys of the South Pole,
A mountain was named in his honor.A congressional Medal bestowed!

From MOUNT SOZA, ANTARCTICA dedicated to our ancestor ZEKE,
To SOZA CANYON, SOZA MESA, and other monuments of recognition, We appreciate your continued support and ask your diligence,
To carry on and reinforce the SOZA spirit and tradition.

Christine Soza Terrill

Historical Genealogy of the Arizona
Soza, Sosa Families 1774-1994

The Soza, Sosa families of Arizona trace their 1774 origin to Don Jose Maria Sosa, a cavalryman with the Royal Spanish Presidio Forces at the Presidio San Ignacio de Tubac, Sonora (Arizona). He was born in 1746 at Jecori, a small Spanish village along the Yaqui River, located between Cumpas and Montezuma (Oposura), Sonora, Nueva Espana. The names of his parents remain unknown.

The 1774 inventory of the Tubac Presidio listed Jose Maria Sosa as "28 years of age, a Spaniard in good health, and of good circumstances". The transcript of his military career indicates an enlistment in 1770 and his advancements to corporal, Sergeant, and eventually a royal commission as Alferez on 1794 at Tucson.

Tucson counts its founding in 1775 when the Tubac Presidio was relocated to the newly established Presidio de San Agustin del Tucson. Don Jose Maria Sosa was of the troops relocated to Tucson from Tubac in that year.

The 1798 census of the Village of Tucson shows that Don Jose Maria Sosa was married to Dona Rita Espinosa and had one son and three daughters. A letter written by Father Pedro Arriquibar in 1811 confirms that Alferez Jose Maria Sosa died prior to 1811.

Jose Maria Sosa (11) in 1831 was the Civil Administrator of the Tumacacori Mission properties. The family held a small land grant, named "Torreon" of approximately 3 miles, lying between Tumacacori and Tubac. The property was later sold by son Jose Calistro Sosa, the father of Juan Soza (1851-1915) of Tempe.

Jose Maria Sosa (11) and his wife Gregoria Nunes are listed in the Tubac Census of 1831. Eight children were born to them, namely: Ramon, Rita, Maria Guadalupe, Ygnacio, Jose Calistro (father of Juan Soza 1851-1915), Maria Tomasa, Manuel , and Jose Maria Sosa (111).

Research has been most successful in tracing the descendants of Calistro Sosa, Jose Maria Sosa (111), and Manuel Sosa. Aside from brief data on Ygnacio Sosa and his wife Maria Gertrudes Elias, no leads have developed to the other children of Jose Maria Sosa (11)

The recently renamed Sosa-Carrillo-Fremont Museum in Tucson celebrates the association of Jose Maria Sosa (111) and his wife Solana Mendoza with the property on which this 1850's vintage adobe structure is located. Daughter Manuela Sosa married Civil War veteran Michael McKenna, giving us the McKenna-Sosa branch.

The structure is significant because it was rented briefly by Territorial Governor General John C. Fremont, and is the only (remaining) Tucson structure associated with the (Arizona) Territorial Government.

The descendants of Manuel Sosa and his wife Luisa Campa have been traced through their sons Antonio Campa Soza (1845) and Placido Campa Soza (1846). The widowed Luisa Campa Sosa later married her husband's brother Calistro Sosa (the father of Juan Soza (1851), and had two more sons Nicolas Campa Soza (1856) and Santiago who did not survive infancy. The then twice widowed Luisa Campa Sosa married Jesus Maria Mungia and had two more children, namely Tomas and Ramona Mungia.

Placido Campa Soza (1856) filed homestead application #188 December 30, 1882 on the San Pedro River, but did not remain. His marriage to Mercedes Elias gave birth to four children of which only Manuel Elias Soza (1873) has been traced. His children were Hortensia V. Soza, Maria V. Soza, and Cornelio V. Soza.

Nicolas Campa Soza (1856) filed homestead application #759 on April 28. 1887 at the San Pedro, but did not remain. He married Juana Borquez (1858) and they had three children Nicolas Soza, Victoria Soza, and Calistro Soza.

From this branch, the late Tony Fimbes Soza, is most widely known for his role as Commander of the Arizona American Legion, and as Clerk, Maricopa County Board of Supervisors.

The successful homestead, ranch, and farm activities of Antonio Campa Soza and his extended families on the San Pedro (River) have been previously documented and publicized. His marriages to Francisca Gastelum, Mercedes Federico, and Maria Jesus Moreno resulted in 24 children, of whom 20 reached adulthood. His interest and activities remained committed to the San Pedro River Valley and Tucson.

Juan Soza (1851-1915) was the earliest family member to file for a homestead. His Tempe area application #48 was for eighty (80) acres at Section 18, Township 1 North, Range 5 East. This entry was relinquished and cancelled on December 20, 1878.

Then on October 11, 1882 Juan filed Cash Entry #218 for 160 @ $2.50 per acre at Section 32, Township 12 South, Range 19 East on the San Pedro River Valley. The patent was approved on April 18, 1884, but Juan did not remain on the San Pedro. The patent was delivered to Antonio Campa Soza on June 25, 1885.

Juan Soza returned to Tempe to make his mark and was later joined by brothers Placido and Nicolas. Juan had married Maria Jesus Sotelo on July 19, 1873 at Florence, the daughter Tiburcio Sotelo and Manuela Sanchez. Seven of their ten children reached adulthood, and it is fitting that their names be invoked, namely: Jose, Paulina, Juan, Ester, Jose Maria, Antonio, Enrique, Alfonso Aurelio, and Elena.
Very fittingly, the 1994 Soza Family Reunion is dedicated to the late Ezekiel Rodriguez Soza (1915-1983) of Mount Soza, Antarctica fame; grandson of Tempe pioneers Juan Soza and Maria Jesus Sotelo, and the son of Jose Sotelo Soza and Anatasia Rodriguez.

Tribute to Zeke

In His Honor ... Ezekiel "Zeke" Rodriguez Soza

It is often said "a man's worth is not measured by material wealth but by his deeds. If so, then Mount Soza at Antarctica stands as a monumental tribute to the life of the late Ezekiel "Zeke" Rodriguez Soza. Zeke, as he was fondly known to his friends and professional colleagues was a native of Tempe, Arizona and a descendant of one of Arizona's oldest historically documented families.

"Zeke" was born September 23, 1915, the son of Jose Sotelo Soza and Anatasia Rodriguez, and the grandson of Tempe pioneers Juan Soza and Maria Jesus Sotelo. Zeke began to write another chapter in the history of the Soza family. Pursuing life in the pioneering spirit of his ancestors, Zeke attended Phoenix Junior College and Arizona State College (now Arizona State University) before entering the U.S. Army in 1941 as an aerial photographer. After a tour of service with the U.S. Army Corp o f Engineers, Zeke completed his studies at Sacramento State University.

Zeke went to work for the U.S. Geological Survey in 1946 and began a life long assent to the top of his profession. His drive for perfection became his trademark, and his thirst for accomplishment took him around the world in performing his work. He became an accomplished topographic engineer, photogrammetrist, and a cartographer, mastering the tools of his trade, from mechanical instruments used early in his career to the latest electronic equipment now being used for greater speed and accuracy. By the time he retired in 1973, he had mastered all the skills critical to the making of modern maps, and had participated in technological changes that revolutionized map making. He had mapping assignments from the Pacific States to the Atlantic States at Washington, D.C. headquarters and in Antarctica.

Participating in several mapping surveys of Antarctica from 1961 through 1966, Zeke's survey parties used new techniques and established records for making geodetic traverse unequalled to this day. Zeke's accomplishments reflected his zest for life and his devotion to his work. Enduring the hardships of the cold Atlantic climate time and again, Zeke performed above and beyond the job requirements.

Results of two of those surveys combined to set a record for two austral summers which still stand - a traverse equal to going from Juneau, Alaska to Mexico City, and establishing control for mapping for a hundred mile strip along the traverse. The routes of these two Antarctica survey parties, along with photos of Zeke and the rest of the survey party are on display in the U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C.
Recognizing his accomplishments, the National Science Foundation awarded the Antarctica Service Medal and the Secretary of the Interior signed his Antarctica Service Certificate, The U.S. Board of Geographic Names officially named "Mount Soza" in Antarctica in his honor and in 1989 a new geodetic station established in Antarctica was named "Station Soza".

Finally, in his honor we consummate this reunion and dedicate it to his memory and to the pride and honor he has given the Sosa, Soza Families.

Acknowledgement: Theodore Duarte, Tempe

This third award of $300. will take place at the Arizona Historical Convention on April 13 - 16, 1995 at Tucson. The call is for papers based on original research in primary sources concerned with the history of Arizona's Spanish, Mexican, and Mexican-American population.

The award was established in 1990 as a tribute to Dr. James E. Officer for his widely acknowledged borderland scholarship, his book HISPANIC ARIZONA 1536-1856, and for his extensive research on the extended Sosa, Soza families of Arizona.

Author of TEMPE'S FIRST FAMILIES: SOZA, SOTELO AND ELIAS; the manuscript that received the 1994 OFFICER AWARD. Reproduction of this paper has been authorized, and is offered at $2.00 per copy,to cover printing cost, handling, and postage. Details below.

Curator, Tempe Historical Museum 809 East Southern, Tempe, Az 85282. Curious about your maternal or paternal grand parents? Send a stamped, self addressed envelope to Scott Solliday, who has 5000 names on file. Create your own personalized family tree.

Many thanks to Garret for his greatly appreciated musical gift to the Reunion at the Opening Ceremony. Garret descends from Bette Currie, the late Helen Soza Rodriguez, and ancestors Juan Soza and Maria Jesus Sotelo. To purchase his tapes contact:


For details on how you may purchase a memorial brick in the pathway and honor a family member, contact:

A.H.S. Foundation Brick Pathway
1218 North Central Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85004-1819
602-254-0307 Fax 602-252-2497


Cisneros Drawing of Alferez Jose Maria Sosa $10.00 x __ $____
Soza Family Tree $ 8.00 x __ $____
Douglas E. Kupel Manuscript $ 2.00 x __ $____

Grand Total $____

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