How to find land we are told we own?

My cousins and I have so many questions. We were contacted by three different oilmen stating we are heir to TX property in Panola county. We have been able to identify the Larkin Booker survey Ab. 54, the Abraham Booker survey Ab. 58, and the AL Adams Survey Ab.890 on the Texas Rail Road Commission site but One of the oilmen mentioned a Winnie Mann survey. I have no abstract number and haven’t located it yet on the RRC site as it like searching for a needle in a haystack. Is there a way to look it up by survey or my grandmother’s name? I have the feeling that there may be more land in Panola and Shelby counties. Any suggestions will be appreciated. Thank you.

Have you tried:

I think this may be the survey you are looking for. Try looking up “Mann, W” in the survey finder under Panola County, Texas.

M_Barnes, Thank you. I hadn’t heard of those yet. I have tried the Panola County tax office, the Panola County Clerk and the TXRRC. With the resources you shared do I just search my grandmother’s name? What other info might I use to search?

UV_Jones_IV, Thank you this looks promising. So you found this by putting Mann, W using the TRRC site?

I just tried to find the Winnie Mann survey on the TRRC site. I clicked Panola county then clicked the “i” Identify icon, chose the surveys option put Mann, W in the search box that the far right and it didn’t work. The image on the screen is of Mann, Pennsylvania. As I’m new to this process I’d love to have step by step instructions as to how to find the screen you came up with. Thank you so much for your help.

  1. Go to the RRC GIS page.
  2. Click on the magnifying glass in the top middle, not the one on the far right.
  3. This should open a box, under the pull-down menu under County, click Panola,
  4. Then, in the box for survey input: “Mann, W”. then click “Query.”

Panola County/W Mann Survey/Absract 431


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Your instructions worked great! Thank you! How do I tell if the land is still in my family’s name?

Well, that’s a tough one. It would require a title search, you can try and do it yourself which can be time consuming, or you can hire a land professional which can be expensive. Depending upon the value of the interests involved it may or may not be worth the expense of time or money. A landman who is familiar with the area may be your best bet. I would get a landman who is a member of the American Association of Petroleum Landmen (AAPL).

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Melode… I agree with UV_Jones_IV suggestions. Good luck. Panola County is a good County to have minerals in.

Search your grandmother’s name (and any possible mis-spellings), your grandfather or whomever she might have gotten it from.

I can’t imagine land in your name that has been dormant and not taxed. I suspect that there might be nascent mineral rights, though. and I would imagine the Panola County courthouse has a mineral rights filed list. If there’s someone there who can look up under a variety of names in your family. You may consider hiring a “landman” (not to be ruthlessly gender correct, I won’t include landlady as it hits a different real estate button). I would think there would be several who haunt that courthouse. if you’re getting letters from people asking about it, you probably have something or relentless hackers trying to coax a nickel or two out of you.

Thank you AHMT. I will call the court house to ask if they have a mineral rights filed list. I did check my grandmother’s name with the county tax assessor and she found one of the properties we know about. Not sure why the others didn’t turn up though. I will keep looking and if I hit many other road blocks we will hire an landman (who may actually be a woman). ;}

If you give me your grandmother’s name I will tell you exactly what you own, it’s not that difficult to find out… I have access to far more resources than the other people on this forum I can assure you.

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If there’s a real property and you haven’t paid taxes on it for a period of time, the tax assessor or county clerk can file a public notice and someone else can pay the tax for your property. If you don’t pay them back by a date certain, they can take possession of the property for the price of the taxes. If it’s been a long time, you might owe back taxes and interest. For a buyer of unpaid taxes, it is a way to loan money at 18% which is secured by “real estate.” Good luck.

I was told by the county tax assessor that in Texas people can’t gain ownership of mineral rights by paying back taxes, but if the taxes go unpaid for too long then they can be sold by the county. So we are crossing our fingers that we can get this taken care of before too long.

The TX mineral tax rolls only include active producing properties and not inactive. There is a chance of more possible ownership in the local vicinity of the known.

Another search possibility is a local abstract company. Please be aware some will decline. The next alternative is ask the local taxing county recorder for active local land people and how you might reach them. None of these searches are free so determine a price before moving forward.