The French presence in New Mexico:
1539 – Friar Marc de Nice claims to have sighted the Seven Golden Cities of Cíbola in western New Mexico. Early French settlers are Jacques Grolet, Jean L’Archevêque, and Pierre Meusnier. Grolet and L’Archevêque both founded New Mexico dynasties, the current Gurulé and Archibeque families, respectively.
1695 to 1760 – Many instances of French intrusions into New Mexico.
1780s – Pierre (Pedro) Vial, from Lyons, pioneers the trail from St. Louis, Missouri, to Santa Fe.
1800s – From the early 1800s, French and French Canadians control the fur trade, making up 80 percent of the traders, with Taos one of their main centers. The French presence was significant on the Santa Fe Trail, along which travelers commonly spoke French.
1851 to 1914 – French priests dominate New Mexico’s Catholic Church.
Mid-1870s to early 1900s – French families come to New Mexico and play significant roles in business, agriculture, and the wine industry.