Mineral rights ownership verification

I have a farm in Howard county that I inherited from my family. I can’t seem to find verification showing that I own the mineral rights along with this property can anyone tell me where I need to go to verify if I own mineral rights on my property. there is no deed because the farm past to me upon my mothers death. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Brett

Brett, feel free to email me at XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX and I can probably help you out. Best regards.

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Recording of your mother's probate in Howard County TX records is effectively a deed. To determine whether you own all, or a portion of, the minerals, you need to trace the title back through all the deeds to see whether any prior owner transferred any of the minerals or granted an NPRI to anyone. If you have a title opinion from an oil company or title company, that would give you a starting point of mineral ownership and you would only have to trace forward from that point forward. Best to get copies of the deeds for your records. This can be time-consuming if there were a lot of owners in the chain or there are multiple tracts within the farm to trace. You can do this yourself, entering information on a spreadsheet, or hire someone to do it for you. Be clear about the costs. Howard County records are on-line on tx.countygovernmentrecords.com. You can preview documents for free to make sure that you want it and it is $1.00 per page to purchase, print and save as pdf. It can be fun to trace your farm history.

Tennis thank you so much! We would be interested in hiring someone to do it for us, we have the probated will in hand but no mineral right ownership is referenced… …would we have to hire an O & G attorney to do it or is there a company a specific service we could contact? Any referrals would be appreciated…thx again!

What I would do if I were in your situation:

Call Howard County, TX county clerk and ask if there are any landmen in there doing title research. If "yes," then ask the clerk if she could please put you in touch with one. Then ask the landman if they could help you verify your mineral rights.

Good luck,


thank you Pat, appreciate it…

Hi Brett -

An Attorney might be waay overly cost prohibitive. You can hire a Landman to prepare Title Runsheets (histories) on the different lands making up your ranch, but they can also be cost prohibitive.

The least expensive way I have ever run across for Landowners to obtain the history of their lands is to add a provision to their leases requiring the company to provide them with a copy of any Title Runsheets they have prepared or obtain on the subject lands. That's thousands upon thousands of dollar's worth of research for free.

If you want to research your lands yourself, www.Texasfile.com has at least the Deed Records for Howard County back to 1900. Other online services have records for Howard County as well.

You may also want to look around the ranch's office and talk to whatever Attorney your family has been using over the years. Most ranches have Title Abstracts (or Abstracts of Title) on their lands.

Those are histories of the tracts of land making up the ranch like the Title Runsheet(s) I mentioned above. If you would like, I can sent you an example of one so you will know what you are looking for.

If you will send me the legal description(s) to your ranch, I will see if I can find any oil and gas leases that have been filed of record on the lands. If that information is available online, it will only take a few minutes and might be the quickest and least expensive way to determine whether your family owns any of the mineral rights (have they ever signed any leases?).

If you want to send your description(s) privately, accept my invitation to become A Friend on The Forum (will send it in a moment) and you can send it privately that way instead of here on the general forum.

Hope this helps -

Charles Emery Tooke III

Certified Professional Landman

Fort Worth, Texas


Pat Malone is very practical. Good idea. since you are a surface owner, you may go to an abstracter at the county seat or their associated title insurance arm. When your family bought the place there may have been a policy issued. They never insure mineral rights but often specifically exempt minerals from a policy by book and page reference. That could give you a place to look in the courthouse.

Gary L Hutchinson

Minerals Managment