How does a person find records or deeds when they are inherited.

Deeds of surface rights as well as mineral rights are recorded at the County Court House. It is possible to not own the surface rights but to have inherited the mineral rights. The gas/oil company must have a lease agreement both for surface access as well as for the mineral rights.

DEEDS-------MINERAL RIGHTS Where do you find this information? How do you prove ownership.

From another forum:

I know that this is very long, but it might help someone out.

So you want to find out if your neighbors are leased? They won't talk to you because your son ran off with their 17 year-old daughter? Let's find out through the internet. I'll lay out exactly how, since I've seen some posts with some easily answered questions. This example will use Washington County. Some of the tools aren't available in other counties, but you might find an equivalent.

Start with your internet browser. Internet Explorer and Firefox are the most common. Both of them can use tabs, a convenient feature. To use them, hit "New Tab" under the file menu, or right-click on a link and pull down to "Open in new tab". Each tab can contain an open page, and you can go back and forth to current pages easily. You will be lost if you don't use tabs.

Open in one tab, the county tax info site in another (, and in a third. If there is a google map (from that is good for your area, open that in another tab. (eMapPA is too unwieldy for this purpose.) If you open these in separate windows, you'll just get confused (unless you have a 30" monitor and can spread out the windows.)

In the Washington County tax info site, just enter the last name. If you're not sure of the spelling, leave off the last part, and don't add a *. Do the same for companies. The result will be a listing of current property owners that match your name entry. If you enter "rang", it will return three listings for Range Resources. Hmm. Let's take a look. What did they sell for? If you click on the parcel number, you'll get the last sale price and date. $4.75M for 184 acres! Who sold that? (And can they adopt me?) Let's look at

In the landex tab, hit "webstore search" in the top right, then "search" in the top left. Enter the landowner's last name, then the first name with a * after part of it, like mi* for michael. If you're looking for a company, enter part of the name with a * after it (eg. rang* for range resources), and nothing in the first name section. Click the county on the left. Hit "search" in the middle. The results will be listed with "deed", "lease", "misc" (for miscellaneous, used for small changes to leases, unit declarations, etc), "row" (for right of way), "affa" (for affadavit, used to declare that no lease is existing, no royalties received..blah, blah). Okay, we entered "rang*" and got more than 200 results, because they are named on a bazillion different documents. Maybe narrow down the date range. Go back to Wash. cty range results -- the sale was 6/4/2008. We enter that into landex on the bottom, and get two miscellaneous results. Not it - we're looking for a deed transfer, so we'll have to change the dates. Enter a date range of 6/4 to 6/24, and we get 45 results -- busy, busy landmen. Near the end is a deed, but you can't be sure if that's the right one, or from a previous sale. <edit> 10Apr09 You can click on the instrument number to see the grantor/grantee <end edit> You have to pay $5.75 for an electronic copy of the deed. is best for just a few searches. Landex Remote is a separate program that searches in a similar way, but is much cheaper for multiple searches. That deed might be 50 cents on Landex remote, but you can only print the results. I bought that deed and we get the person that sold it. Nothing notable about her - not a county commissioner or anything. If you do a google search on her, you can find out where her kid went to school, but they've probably changed schools since hitting the big bucks. Creepy, huh?

Okay, where is this parcel and who has adjacent properties? We have the tax id from the tax info site. 170-009-00-00-0006-00 Map 17, Block 9, Parcel 6 Other county's numbering systems should be roughly similar in style. Go to your tab. Near the bottom is "Counties available online" Click that, then scroll down to Pennsylvania, click Washington County. Up pops another window. At the top right is a scroll box with a button "view selected map". You can scroll down to Chartiers index and view it and then print it. Don't bother. Scroll to 17-9, view it, then print that. Go to the "Map" scroll box on the left and choose 17-9. Hit the "search" button on the right. Up pops a listing of parcels in that block, with owner's names, etc. You can then correlate the parcel numbers with the map to see what is adjacent to what. Range's parcel, #6, is on the edge of this map. You'll need to look at 17-8 to see what's adjacent to the northeast. If you search in 17-8 and 17-9, you'll see the names of multiple wells in Chartiers. If you wanted to search for unit declarations, you would landex those recognizable names and examine any misc filings. You might have to watch out for different spellings or initials.

To find out your neighbor's lease status, you should start by finding yourself on a plat map on Find the names of owners of adjacent properties. If you get carried away, you can map out all the parcels surrounding you. Use to search for filings to and from these names. If the type is "lease", you can bet it is an O&G lease, but there is a small chance you are wrong. The memorandum of lease is what is filed, and you can get some of the terms and operator off that. Investigate any "Misc" type filings -- they might be declarations of unit, which I believe is only filed if gas is about to be produced. Other things like assignment of leases, release of leases, changes to leases also show up. If you are efficient, you can map out everything within two miles, including lease dates, operator, expiration, unit declarations, rights of way, for maybe $30 and a few hours of your time. IF you're efficient.

Now everyone go investigate the neighbors!