My husband evidently has some cloudy information regarding mineral rights belonging to dead relatives that should be his, but no paperwork. Recently, on the Oklahoma Mineral Owner Registry sign-up paper it listed 6 counties in Oklahoma that shows under “known’’ counties of ownership”, and we only know of 2 or 3. Also, under inheritance information, there are 4 names of relatives that are deceased, (and it appears the year they died) I’m trying to figure out how to tract down if he does actually own any mineral rights, based on this information. Does anybody know how we would do that and how much it would cost and how to go about contacting people? Any help would be appreciated.
Hi, Cathy -
It sounds to me like you need to hire an Oklahoma Landman. Landmen study the County Clerk's, County Court Clerk's and District Court Clerk's Records to determine the ownerships of the surface, minerals and royalties of land. What you need is for someone to study those records, including the Probate Court Records, to determine who inherited what from who.
You can learn how to do all that yourself, but I will forewarn you that it can be addictive. And it can be time consuming and expensive.
You can use websites like Ancestry.com to trace out the various family histories.
I usually advise people to wait until a Landman contacts them about leasing their interests and adding a provision to their lease(s) that requires the company provide them with a copy of their Title Run Sheets and Title Opinions. It might take a while for you to get that information on all of your (or your Husband's) lands, but it is free.
If it is an issue where the Landmen simply don't know how to find your Husband, you can have an Attorney prepare a simple Affidavit setting out who he is a possible heir of and filing that in each of the Counties. Eventually someone will find him.
You should also check and see if any Wells are already on any of the lands. The companies Operating the Wells may help you sort out your title.
And check Oklahoma's Unclaimed Properties Division (Google it) and see if any of the names crop up there.
Hope this helps -
Charles Emery Tooke III
Certified Professional Landman
Fort Worth, Texas