Bringing together this compilation of Soza Family Newsletters, and Other Correspondence, written over a span of 27 years, allows the reader a rare and unique opportunity to experience first hand, the once nascent, then full blown development of a family's genealogy. Very little was known about the Soza heritage and history, when the search commenced. Over the years, the newsletters became a viable vehicle for genealogical research.
Begun innocently, and purely to elicit, solicit and share information, the Newsletters grew as more and more information surfaced. A modest mailing list, soon expanded to approximately 700, and postage became a major problem.
From the outset, the direction, intent, and purpose of the newsletter, has not deviated. Its contents, orientation and thrust remains educational, genealogical, and historical.
Numbering the Newsletters was not contemplated in 1972 when publishing began. It was not anticipated the Newsletters would have any longevity beyond a few issues. By 1993, it began to look as though some longevity might be achieved. Newsletter numbering began with Volume 1, No. 1 on January 10, 1993.
Reading the newsletters in their totality, the reader can travel the journey of one that sought his ancestry; found honor, and pride in the same; and enjoyed tremendous pleasure in sharing the material with hundreds of Extended Soza / Sosa families, now spread out over 18 States of the Union. This is the story found in the first section of this book.
In the second section of the book, Other Correspondence serves as a bona fide window to the efforts expended on behalf of family members. It shares with the reader bits and pieces of a journey commenced and travelled, while fleshing out the family's place in the pages of Arizona's history in Colonial Spanish, Mexican, Arizona Territorial, and Arizona Statehood periods.
For this book, the Editor's original typewritten outgoing correspondence, has been faithfully reproduced on a word processor. This facilitated indexing, referencing and publishing. Facsimiles of original incoming letters are included to provide the reader a sequential chronology of events.
Some projects covered by Other Correspondence have come to fruition, while others faltered. Success of some projects was due to support by many family members, and friends who shared a strong interest in preserving Arizona's viable historical past.
The following items or subjects were an integral part of the literature found in the Newsletters since their infancy:
The John Charles Fremont House / Casa del Gobernador
Jose Maria Sosa Room
Soza Ranch State Park (Proposed)
Former Soza Ranch at Redington Henry T. Redfield was named Postmaster of Redington on October 1879. On May 30, 1892 Philip S. Patton, Postmaster identified Redington as being in the SE 1/4 of Section 34, Township 11 South, Range 18 East, with Mammoth 24 miles north and Benson 40 miles south.
Plaza of the Pioneers at Tucson Museum of Art
Fruition of the Jose Maria Sosa Room, and the renaming of the Sosa-Carrillo-Fremont Museum, was appreciated, cherished, and heartwarming to the family. The labor was long and arduous, but heartfelt thanks has and continues to be extended to dear friends, that believed, and supported the effort.
The Soza Ranch State Park (Proposed), intended as an Arizona Bicentennial Park (1976) was a subject of much Newsletter discourse. Influential letters of endorsement, were very helpful, and drew attention to the validity of preserving the former Soza Ranch, but it was not to be. The project was predicated on the sole premise that the then owner could be persuaded to donate the land for a Bicentennial State Park.
Comparisons might be irrelevant and misplaced, but travel to the area today, a third of a century later, and the development of the San Pedro River Valley, reveals that the pristine area of yesterday, is only a memory today.
It has been said and written that a "preservationist is a person wanting to save everything, but has no money." In the instance of the idealistic Soza Ranch State Park, guilty is the verdict.
Lastly, birthplace and burial sites of Sosa ancestors has been a subject of long term interest, and which long eluded research efforts. Through happy research circumstances, the family is now better informed.
Researching at the Bancroft Library, Berkeley, CA, Mrs. Carlos (Nadine) Vasquez, Carmichael, CA. found a Tucson Presidio document, dated January 1, 1801, reporting the death of Alferez Jose Maria Sosa on April 2, 1800. Presumably he was buried in the Presidio Cemetery, though his burial place is not mentioned in the report. We are eternally grateful to Mrs. Carlos Vasquez for her research contribution on the family's behalf.
The burial site of ancestor Dona Rita Espinosa de Sosa has been more definitively defined. This was accomplished by locating early 19th century Tubac Church records. Facsimiles of Tubac Church burial records were obtained through the good offices of the Bancroft Library, and reported in the Newsletters.