Reading Old Mission Document Facsimiles

*Note. Facsimiles of all the pages from the Tumacácori, Guevavi, and Cocóspera mission registers and the Tubac Presidio Chapel are included in the system. Although these are the only records from which you can obtain facsimiles of the originals at the present time, as inputting from the other mission registers are completed, downloadable facsimiles from those will also be included.*



If you do not speak Spanish or do not have experience in reading Spanish paleography, you may have trouble locating the particular event or person you are looking for when you call up one of the facsimiles of the ancient documents. Following are some instructions to help you with your search:

1) When you type in the name of the person you are searching for, you will find that if that person is in the system, the name will come up with a blue "personal identification number" to the left of the name. When you click on that number, the person's individual information will appear on your screen followed by a list of events that he or she was involved in. Each event also has a blue "event identification number." You will note that if there is a facsimile of that record included in the system, the words "View Document A" will appear to the right of the event date. If you click on those words, the original document will appear on your screen. However, it will be the entire page that comes up and the event you are looking for may be only one of many on that particular page. And, as an example, if you are searching for a godmother in a baptism or a witness at a wedding, your search, even after the page comes up, may be long and futile.

2) Another option which may help you find the person more quickly, is to type the name of the individual for whom you have an interest in the proper field(s) on the original search page. When the individual's name appears on your screen, click on that person's blue personal identification number. When the personal information screen comes up, scan the events that the person is associated with and choose one which has a facsimile associated with it (recognized by the words "View Document A"). Rather than going immediately to the document, however, click on the blue event identification number. When that event appears on you screen, there will be a "thumbnail" of the document in the upper left-hand corner.

Before clicking on the thumbnail, however, locate the principal person in the event. In the case of a baptism, it will be the person who was baptized. In a marriage, it will be the husband and/or wife. In a death, it will be the deceased. That person's name will generally always appear in the margin of the original page, to the right or left of the main body of text concerning the event.

Now, click on the thumbnail in the upper left-hand corner of the page. An image of the entire document will appear. Scan the margin for the name of the principal person. When you find that name, position the cursor (a little hand with the index finger pointing up) in the center of the text you are interested in. Click on it and an enlarged, more "readable" image of that particular part of the page will appear. It will be readable only if you can read Spanish paleography. If you can't, you will have to search the entry text for the name you are seeking and rely on the translation in the notes of the Mission 2000 entry page, if such a translation exists. We are presently placing the actual translations of the more than 6000 entries of the system into the notes, but it is a long, on-going process. It you locate the person and entry you are interested in and cannot read it, and if there is not a translation provided, contact:

Indicate the person and personal identification number and/or event and event number you are interested in, and the translation will be e-mailed back to you, as well as uploaded into the event notes for future reference.


1) Type "bojo"(without the quotation marks) in the surname portion of the search page and click on "Begin Search." Since the only name in the system that has those letters in it is "Bojorquez," the system will call up all the people with the name of "Bojorquez."

2) Scan down through the list to number 36, María Bojorquez, the mestiza wife/widow of Diego Romero. Click on the blue number "36."

3) A screen will appear that gives María's personal information plus a list of thirteen events that she is associated with, some of which have facsimiles attached to them and some which do not. Click on the first Event ID number in the list (number "11").

4) This will bring up a baptism that occurred at Guevavi on March 19, 1741 and is recorded on page 2 of the Guevavi Book (a thumbnail of that page is provided in the upper left hand corner). Of the five people associated with the event, you will note that María Bojorquez was the godmother and that the "Principal" was the baby who was baptized, "José María Nuñez." You will also note from the translation of the event, included in the "notes" section, that María Bojorquez appears almost at the end of the event text:

"Joseph María of the Divasadero. Today, March 19th I anointed Joseph María

with the holy oils. He had already received the water (of baptism). He is the son

of Juan Nuñez and Rosa Samaniego. His godmother was María Bojorquez. Year

of 1741. Joseph de Torres Perea (rubric), Minister for His Majesty"

5) To find this particular event, you will want to search for "Joseph María" in the margin. So, click on the facsimile in the upper left-hand corner of the page. The document image that will appear on your screen has four baptisms recorded on it. "Joseph María del Divasadero" appears in the upper left-hand corner, with "María Gertrudis, Apache," "Juan Ignacio de San Xavier," and "Juan María [de] Sonoita" all appearing below. Position your cursor in the middle of the body of the text to the right of "Joseph María" and click on it. The image of that particular baptism will come up to a more readable size, and there in the bottom line before the priest's signature appears the name "María Bojorquez," the person you originally went in search of.

*Note. There are some very important people and other pertinent information to the history of Arizona recorded in this one small baptismal entry. José María's father, Juan Nuñez, was an Opata Indian who worked on Arizona's first ranch, Rancho Guevavi, for Juan Bautista de Anza, senior, under the direction of the ranch foreman, Manuel José de Sosa, as early as 1729. He and his wife, the baby's mother, Rosa Samaniego, a mulata lady with a Basque name, were, thus, some of the very first non-native residents of what is today the State of Arizona. At this time, in 1741, they were obviously living on the Divasdero Ranch, another of the Anza ranches located where the Santa Cruz River makes its turn to the north to re-enter present-day Arizona from Sonora. Although Juan Bautista de Anza had been killed by Apaches the year before, the Nuñez family was evidently still working for the Anza family as that is where they, including the five-year-old, soon-to-be-famous Juan Bautista de Anza, junior, were also living. The godmother, María Bojorquez and her husband, Diego Romero, were the first recorded non-natives to actually live in the San Luis Valley, just a few miles southeast of present-day Nogales, Arizona/Sonora.