Are there records in spain or at the Vatican that record mission happenings in the 1700’s?
The primary source for original mission records for the California Missions are at the Mission Archives Library in Santa Barbara, where many of the original documents were centralized. I would start there.
Here are some addition sources used by mission scholars:
• Archivo de San Francisco la Grande, Biblioteca National, Mexico
• Archivo General de la Nacion, Mexico
• St. Mary's College, Moraga CA (Accounts for the Santa Cruz Mission)
• San Francisco Archdiocese Chancery Archive, Colma CA (accounts for Mission Dolores)
• Bensen Latin American Collection, Univeristy of Texas at Austin
• Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley
There are, I am sure, important historic / original records in Spain but I have seen no citations to Vatican records. Most of the records for the Alta Calfornia Missions are in the U.S. libraries and museums I have cited or in Mexico.