Lost all mineral rights data need help

Me and my parents owned and built around 60 million dollars worth of Apartments, Offices and Commercial retail back in the 70-80's in Brazos County and sold all the property but keep the mineral rights, we got royalties on a few straight well drills then they where capped in the 80s. Now I can see 100s of horizontal drillings going on 2013 Drilling Maps online in Bryan and College station suburbs and commercial properties and a lot of them are projected on the old properties we sold and kept the mineral rights and we have not been contacted at all! We where builders in other states and move around a lot maybe they lost track of our land line. During hurricane Alicia we lost paper data for all mineral rights that were in a Houston, TX storage room in the flood plane, nothing was saved digitally. I am trying to figure out how to file our mineral rights with our contact information but get lost. I am a computer consultant and know how information technology works they went from paper to digital and when I search Brazos Valley Courthouse and RRC I cannot find a created database of mineral right owners, they most likely could not afford anyone to go back 30 years through all the paper data and enter anything over 10 years back into the database and the custodians of the old mineral rights may have trashed all our deeds along with mineral rights and never entered it in the database wanting to go paperless If they did make a database it is not found in RRC or google. Having worked as a database DBA for big companies, I suspect that it first be designed to search by survey to mineral right owners but not mineral right owners to anything, If they did it would have a big map with mineral right owners in the Brazos valley our sold land would probably have the land Mineral rights unknown. Any suggestions?

Dear Mr. Caporina,

A sad situation to find yourself in. Indexing of record books are done by Grantor books and Grantee books. Some states have sectional indexes, but not us.

Since you know the names of the entities, a landman/abstractor could pretty easily identify lands on which your family and/or corporations retained the mineral rights.

At that point, you would want to file an Affidavit of Identity at the Brazos Courthouse, naming the former commercial properties name, your name and a listing of properties involved. Have the clerk index all names.

There are other steps to take, but you must take those (or something similiar).


Buddy Cotten

Thanks for your reply, your help made it is easy to understand what we need to do now.


Buddy is correct in how to identify all of the properties you once had. One issue I see frequently is where property owners sell the surface and improvements and retain the mineral rights, but they move away and their current mailing address is not updated. Tax bills don't make it to the owner, and the royalties may be sold on the courthouse steps for delinquent taxes. I hope that is not an issue for your property, but make sure keeping the taxes paid and keeping the county tax assessor / collector and county appraiser up to date with your mailing address is not emphasized enough for mineral / royalty owners. Best of luck with your minerals, it sounds like there is lots of activity coming your way.