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I am new to all of this so I will have a lot of questions. My first question is, is it possible for a person to be both the grantor and the grantee on a mineral deed? I am in the middle of researching some things and this came up on some records I found.

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yes, it's common when moving from one entity to another with both being controlled by one person.

YES, they can. 

I just spent the day in Elliot & Waldron Abstract TItle company researching different pieces and have been reading recording books for several different sections/townships/ranges.

I read a bunch of entries that the Grantor/Grantee was the same. SHELL comes to mind as I read several entries that they were both.

It really depends on what they are attempting to get on record and sometimes all they want is to get a record of a given transaction.  The 'cheat sheet' I had was two pages (long) printed - one line per explanation. 

This is the INSTRUMENT listed in the book

WD - Warranty Deed

MD - Mineral Deed

etc, etc, etc

WD's and MD's are the most important, but other instruments have legal purpose.

Hope that helps.

jim

So, can I go spend a day at the abstract office and research everything myself? 

Thanks for the replies. I'm trying to track down land that was supposed to have been transferred to my husband from his father. I found one that has his father and the grantor and grantee and Energen as the grantee also. My husband and his father have the same name, so it is confusing. 

Terrie,

Yes you can.

Elliot & Waldron  Title & Abstract Co,  at EWTitle.com  - the office we go to is directly across the street from the Lea County Court House in Lovington, NM.

It is a bit daunting at first.  But just be honest with the people who work there, all REALLY NICE FOLKS and tell them what you are attempting to do, tell them you don't know anything about this, be nice to the and they will be nice to you.  Just sayin.

But you walk in and the land books are over on the left, those go up until 2009, after which time you have to ask to use their computer to look up newer information.

After you get the Book and Page number from the land book, THEN go over to the county clerks office on the first floor, the east side of the building with the County Clerks office being nearest the east entrance north side of the building. 

Again Very nice people. Be nice to them as well.  tell them what you are doing and why. Realize that neither the EW Title NOR the Lea County Clerks office is that it's NOT their job to teach you how to do this, but if you are super polite and explain what you are trying to do, they can help.

The OGL, Deed, Patent and Misc books are all behind the front counter and you MUST talk to someone before you just go look at the books.  But again, be nice and it's no big deal.

They are SUPER BUSY.  Just finding a parking spot can take a few minutes and you MIGHT have to walk a block or two.  But Lovington is a very small town and the county seat for Lea County. 

You can look at the books and print pages of all sorts of instruments like a patent from the US Gov (homestead act),  warranty deed, mineral deed, right of way, etc.  I had a list of two legal length pages of abbreviations for the books you look in at the title co.

Both offices are open from 8:00 - 5:00 with people taking lunch at 12:00 - 1:00 but there should still be someone there, BUT you probably won;t get much help over lunchtime, as they do go to lunch.

I hope that helps.  We just spent another half day spit between the two places.  First to EW Title to check the books to follow up on items we dug up the day before.  Copied all the  info out of the books at EW Title - you need to know what kind book you will need to look in , again Deeds, Patents, Oil Gas Leases (OGL) books.  From there you can make copies.  IF you find something you feel is really important, you want to get CERTIFIED COPIES and they MUST make the copies and the MUST stamp each piece TWICE (once to show which clerk did the work AND the LEA COUNTY embossed stamp).

Lots of information to digest, but at least you won't go in blind.;  We used EW to do two abstracts for us.  So when it came time to go look at their books at least they knew who we were.

Good luck

jim w

I forgot ONE THING. This is when you are in the County Clerks office.

Once you print pages, you MUST stop on the way out and let them LOOK at the pages you printed.  These are the records that are computerized and you use their computers and their printers.

The books that are OGL, Deed, Patents that you look in have REMOVABLE PAGES that you CAREFULLY REMOVE - ASK HOW TO REMOVE THE PAGES THE FIRST COUPLE OF TIMES, but it's easy once you look at how it all works. After you carefully remove the pages, take the pages over to their copy machine at the end of their office and make copies. 

I RECOMMEND THAT YOU ALSO SHOW THE COPIED PAGES YOU COPIED TO THEM, they will tell you it's not necessary, but it's a courtesy thing.

Plus respect that THEIR INFORMATION is in good shape when you viewed it, make sure it stays that way for the NEXT TIME you need it.

jim w

Wow Jim, thanks! You are amazing. I have the Section, Township, and Range, so was told to use the title company to find the chain on that. I believe part of the mineral rights were from probate, according to a landman that sent me an offer, but at the time, I was like...na, that's a mistake, I don't have anything, but I just might. I was told if they found something and sent me an offer that it was more than likely correct. But, I also found out that if a probate record is not sent to the county where the land is, then I have to get those records first.  I'm a great researcher generally. Just needed to know where to start. Thanks again, your help is really appreciated.

I just read in a different thread where the poster said he got $2k pnma and I think 25% royalty.  BOTH ARE EXCELLENT.

I wish I can say we got that much, but did not.  $500 pnma and 20% royalty.  But this was a smaller lease of only 114 acres.  3 years no extension and had our OGL attorney review the legalese of the contract.  He marked out SEVERAL lines, including several full paragraphs.

Which after explaining to the landman (who was also an attorney) that if they wanted our signatures, they would have to at least offer the minimum (they were offering less).

We got what we wanted, but realize my family apparently homesteaded or purchased land in what is NOW Lea county.  

We will end up doing a quiet title suit to clear up ownership.  The family did this once back in 1948.  But it is time to do so again.  Due to the passage of time and some weird filings that do not appear to be correct.


I MUST SAY, THAT AFTER REVIEWING the land book for Section 6, T20S, R39E I can say without a doubt I have seen a lot of incorrect information filed with LEA County.

We ALSO reviewed Section 1 land book as well.  Plus a Section 35 book for a different T & R.

It's a process trying to find out what happened AND WHY over 100 years ago.  But after almost four years of research, including genealogy that we did online, County Clerk records from my relatives who lived and died in Tulsa, Ok, then on to probating my Dad's will and filing the probated will in Lea county, then all the research at EW Abstract & Title company plus the Lea County Clerks office for more research.

We are going to have a conference call with our attorney sometime next week to prepare for the quiet title suit.

It's been a really interesting journey to say the least.

The funny part is I spent the first 60 years of my life ignoring all this.  In 2013 my Dad asked me that when he died he wanted two things from me. 

Keep an eye on my mom - NO PROBLEM.

Take over the 'handling' of the Lea County minerals - I told him I would do my best.

He passed in 2015.  He lived 90 years and he and my mom were together for 68 years.  She is still alive at 90 today.  I'm so glad she is, because her knowledge of all our relatives has been priceless.

We will see what that means, but I am trying my dead level best.  Thankfully my wife and I retired in 2016 so we now have the time and we are currently living in San Angelo, Tx which is fortunately only 3 1/2 hours from Lovington, NM.

jim w

I know that family that has land in the same area where mine and my hubby's is supposed to be, T 23 and 26 24S 34E, were offered a minimum of 6,000 pnma and up to almost 20,000....holy geez.... with 25%. that would be nice!

I know it's expensive but get a lawyer, we got screwed out of lots of $$by trusting the oil company the landman they sent out. We didn't know any better. Lea County is hot and has been for several years. We got leases with Bonus $from 6,000 to 10,000 PNMA and always 22.5 or 25% Royalty. Never take 20. Never sign for more than 3 years. have a continous drilling clause. Pugh Clause etc... Someone helping you can be well worth it.

ken Cobb,

I concur.  EXACTLY what we did.  And yes, I took a bit more than bottom.  But, I made it very clear that this was a one time deal.

The rest of the acreage will go for a LOT more.

And yes, YOU NEED AN OGL ATTORNEY. 

Best money we've spent so far.  We are going for a quiet title suit, so this attorney we got was recommended to us by two different people that do not know each other.  Yet both suggest the same guy.

It's been an interesting ride for sure for the past four years. 

It will be even more interesting once we get through the suit.

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