How to research and find ownership information

My mother has mineral rights to some property in Florida. She is passing this to me but remembers very little or what she does remember is all mixed up. She has long ago lost her paper work but I was able to find copies of 2 leases, one to Hanson oil in 1970 and the other to Exxon in 1979. Where do I start at getting the ownership papers replaced? Also how do I find out the results of the leases?

Dear Terry,

As to the two leases, on the first page of the lease there should be a description of the properties covered by the lease(s). This does not mean that your mother owns all or any portion of the mineral rights under the lands described, but it does mean that the Hanson or Exxon landman did.

if you are fortunate, the lease will also contain a deed reference description, such as "that certain property described in deed dated xxx, from xxx to xxx, and recorded in Volume xx, page xx of the records of XXX County, Florida." To acquire that deed would be a great jumping off point.

I do not know if the county in Florida (or any county in Florida) has sectional indexes, but if they do, it would be a great aid. In most parts of the non-major oil states (like Florida), most of the records are not online, so a trip to the courthouse would be in order. Actually, it would likely be cost effective to have a local landman do the work for you.

The ownership papers need not be replaced, but you can get copies of them at the county courthouse. That is a wonderful thing about filing documents of record. No worries if they are misplaced.

Thank you Buddy for the information. I will read over the documents closer and see if I am lucky enough to find the deed reference. They do give a description of the land and the same description is on the leases I have found that my great grandmother also signed. So any portion that belongs to my mother must be small after all these years of division.