Several companies lately have been offering to buy the interests my family owns in these properties. My family inherited several properties from my grandmother, including ones in Utah, North Dakota, Montana, and Colorado, but these ones in New Mexico were a surprise to us. Obviously documentation of ownership exists, otherwise these interested companies would not have been able to track us down. However, I do not have a copy of a quit claim deed myself or information about the acreage or percentage my family owns. How do I go about tracking down this information? I tried to see if there was a recorded copy of anything through the Lea County Clerk, but they were unable to find the record, but obviously it’s recorded somewhere. Do I need to hire a gas and oil examiner to help me track this down and if so, what do they typically charge and does anyone have recommendations? Thank you.
It depends on you. If you have the time, YOU can go to the Title company (Eliot & Waldron) There is an office in Lovington across from the court house or one in Hobbs (not sure where). The wife and I chose this route, but we are retired and have the time to chase this down ourselves.
If you can talk to the Title Company Eliot & Waldron and have them do an abstract for you. They do all sorts of them. Call them and ask.
The thing is, it’s not the Lea County Clerks office to do ANY research for you. That’s not what they are they for. You have to start at the title company and find the property your are concerned with. The title company has the land books where all the info is recorded. You look up what you are trying to find, get a book and page number for that given document. THEN you can go over to the Lea County Clerks office and ask to get a copy of a document with a given book and page number.
For the wife and I, we spent the past three years doing the research. My family has approx 800 + acres of mineral rights in Lea county. In our research we found that the family homesteaded all those acres back in 1913/1915.
And because we KNOW every person in my family and their relations, it was easier for us compared the the Title company, because they ONLY search for the names/property you tell them to.
So if you don’t tell them a name or a piece of property, THEY CAN’T LOOK FOR IT. If you are going through the land books and see things you did not expect to see, it can give you TONS of info you won’t see otherwise.
I wish you luck. I’ve been on this path since 2013 at a request from my Dad. In 2015 he passed and in 2016 we completely retired and the started this research almost full time.
Thank you. This is very helpful.
This looks like the assignment that created your family’s interest. Learning about what you own and, more importantly, what to do with it comes with time. Typically, those offering to purchase your interest will provide you free information as to what you own and their own opinions of what it is worth. Hope this helps.
Fehr Assignment.pdf (44.0 KB)
Thank you. This is very helpful. I appreciate your passing it on.
I have been trying for years to find conveyances of ori’s on state leases in New mexico. Is there a link where i can search?
The State Land Office in New Mexico maintains a lease file, similar to what the BLM does with federal leases. Traditionally, overriding royalty interest assignments in state leases were either filed with the State Land Office, in the county records, or both. However, because their new policy no longer allows them to be filed with the state, they are now only recorded in the county records. You can pull a copy of the state lease file - there are brokerages out of Santa Fe that will do this for a fee (Federal Abstract Company and Schutz Abstract Company), but the best place to start is probably the county records. You are welcome to view the county records in person. There are subscription websites that have some, but not all of the county records online. BasinLandRecords.com has all recorded instruments in Eddy and Lea Counties from about 1990 forward and some older instruments as well. There are others like DrillingInfo’s Courthouse Direct as well.
Thank you for the information. I really appreciate it.
Just list this under FYI
Lea county was created in 1913 with the US gov allowing homesteading.
That is why viewing the county land title books IS important.