Historical Genealogy of the Arizona
Soza, Sosa Families 1774-1994
The Soza, Sosa families of Arizona trace their 1774 origin to Don
José Maria Sosa, a cavalryman with the Royal Spanish Presidial Forces
at the Presidio de 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 Moctezuma (Oposura), Sonora, Nueva
Espana. The names of his parents remain unknown.
The 1774 inventory of the Tubac Presidio listed José 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 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 José 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 José 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 José Maria Sosa died prior to 1811.
José 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 José Calistro Sosa
(The father of Juan Soza (1851-1915).
José 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, José Calistro ( father of
Juan Soza 1851-1915), Maria Tomasa, Manuel and José Maria 111.
Research has been most successful in tracing the descendants of
Calistro Sosa, José 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 José Maria Sosa 11.
The recent renamed Sosa - Carrillo - Fremont Museum in Tucson celebrates
the association of José 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 Tucson structure
associated with the 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 Soza
married Jesus Maria Mungia and had two more children, namely Tomas
and Ramona Mungia.
Placido Campa Soza (1846) filed homestead application # 188 January
2, 1883) on the San Pedro River, but did not remain. His marriage
to Mercedes Elias produced 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 April
28, 1887 on 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 Fimbres Soza, is most widely known
for his role as Commander of the Arizona American Legion, and with
the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors.
The successful homestead, ranch, and farm activities of Antonio
Campa Soza and his extended families on the San Pedro have been
widely documented and publicized. His marriages to Francisca Gastelum,
Mercedes Federico, and Jesus Maria Moreno resulted in 24 children
of whom 20 reached adulthood. His interest and activities remained
committed to the San Pedro river valley and Tucson.
Antonio relinquished his original homestead, initiated with Declaratory
Statement #748 for 160. His claim was in conflict with an earlier
claim by Nabor Pacheco. Later, Antonio filed Homestead Application
#934 and received a patent for 160 acres on January 13, 1891.
Juan Soza (1851-1915) was the earliest family member to file for
homestead. His Tempe area application #48 was for 80 acres at Section
18- Township 1 North - Range 5 East. This entry was relinquished
and cancelled on December 20, 1878.
On October 11, 1882 Juan filed Cash Purchase Entry #218 for 160
acres @ $2.50 per acres at Section 32 - Township 12 South - Range
19 East on the San Pedro. 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 of Tiburcio Sotelo and
Manuela Sanchez. Seven of their ten children reached adulthood and
it is fitting that their names be invoked namely: José, Paulina,
Juan, Ester, José Maria, Antonio, Enrique, Alfonso Aurelio, and
Fittingly, the 1994 Soza Family Reunion was 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 José Sotelo Soza and Anatasia Rodriguez.
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
Decency, Honesty and Integrity. This is our prayer, in the name
of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen.
(Reprint from 1994 Reunion commemorative program.)