Historical Genealogy of the Arizona

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 Elena.

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.


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.

(Reprint from 1994 Reunion commemorative program.)

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