Primary Sources, Student Activities

Investigate Mission 2000 Records

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Grade Level:
Middle School: Sixth Grade through Eighth Grade
Social Studies


Original, primary source text from mission records have been translated and digitized into a searchable database called Mission 2000. Students will use the online database to trace a person's life events, family members, occupation, and tribe. 


Mission 2000 is a searchable database of Spanish mission records of the Pimería Alta (southern Arizona and northern Sonora, Mexico) containing baptisms, marriages, and burials from the late seventeenth century to the mid-nineteenth century. Names of persons associated with each event (i.e., priest, baptized, parents, godparents, husband, wife, witnesses, deceased, etc.) and personal information about each person are included. The ethnicity of names include O'odham, Yaqui, Apache, Seri, Opata, Yuma, Mexican, Spanish, Basque, Catalán, Gallego, Andalusian, Valencian, German, Swiss, Austrian, Bohemian, Italian, and others.

Mission 2000 is an on-going project taken from the original mission records and updated weekly online. As of the fifteenth of April, 2004 it contained 7582 events and 20,014 names of people and their known personal information. A majority of the present information comes from the Guevavi, Tumacácori, Cocóspera, and Suamca Mission registers and the Tubac Presidio register, but watch for more information in the future from Arizpe, Átil, Bisanig, Caborca, Cieneguilla, Cucurpe, Horcasitas, Magdalena, Oquitoa, Pitiquito, San Ignacio, Santa Ana, and Tubutama. The search is based on names in the database. If you do not find what you are interested in, try a different spelling, or type only the first few letters of the name. Since ancient spellings varied greatly, a partial spelling will list all entries with those particular letters.


Students will  

1. Research a historical figure while learning to use the Mission 2000 database.

2. Use the Mission 2000 search engine to determine whether they have family in the database.

3. Write a short fictional story using a real piece of the Mission 2000 records.


Mission 2000 can be browsed and explored at will. Sometimes it can take you down a rabbit hole like it did to Ranger Anita when she went looking for an ox driver named Ignacio. Check her her tale of detective work or other research stories from Mission 2000 if you like. Start by searching for Grijalva as follows.

1. Login to and in the Personal Information box type Grijalva into the Surname box. Then press Enter or click on Search at the bottom of the box.

2. The Surname search will bring up a list of people with the surname (last name) of "Grijalva." Find Luis Grivalva in the list and click on the blue #4870, to the left of the name.

3. You now see Personal Information and Event Relationship. Using the Personal Information above, answer the following questions:

What is his Race/Tribe? Who were his parents? When did he die?

4. Under Event Relationship click on the blue event ID #1824. Then click on the picture to enlarge it. Look for the 1739 entries and try to read them. To close the document window, click on the red box in the upper right hand corner of the window.

5. Find additional information by clicking on the blue Personal ID numbers 81, 469, and 470. Try to answer the following questions for each of the following events: Personal ID 81: Who was Ignacio Xavier Keller? When was he born? What happened in 1751? Personal ID 469: Who was this person? When did he die? How did he die? Personal ID 470: Who was this person? How many brothers and sisters did Luis have? You have now searched the first Grijalva family who came to the Pimería Alta. Go back and check out other family members and events. There are 89 more links for the Grijalva family.


Use the On This Day form to collect some notable events. Assign each student to pick a day from the list, perhaps their own birthday, or you can have every student use the same event. The assignment is write a fictional story with the true event (the marriage, the burial, etc.) at its core.



Download Investigating Mission 2000 Records

Download Mission 2000 - On this Day

Last updated: August 25, 2015