Oil & Mineral rights Pecos County

I have come across a copy of a deed detailing the lease of oil and mineral rights of one acre of oil land, along with a map of Pecos County, Texas. This was from The Oil and Mineral Land Syndicate, Peele’s Chambers, London and was dated 27th August 1923. The owner appears to be my grandmother. My question is, how can I find out if this is still valid and if I have any claim over these rights dating back nearly 100 years?

It would involve doing research in the deed records for Pecos County in the County Clerk’s office at the courthouse of the county seat, Fort Stockton.

Sometimes leases include a legal description of the property that includes recording information (recording date, volume and page) for the acquisition deed or other deeds in the chain of title to the property that would definitely help in your search. If the lease you have doesn’t include that kind of reference point you would need to search the Grantor and Grantee indexes to the Pecos County deed records looking for your grandmother’s name. You would search prior to the date of that 1923 lease to determine how and when she acquired the interest, and search after the lease date to see if she conveyed that mineral interest to someone else. If she didn’t it may still be in her name and never legally transferred to her heirs. Happens all the time with small interests where there is no production.

There are also websites, like TexasFile.com and CourthouseDirect.com, where you can do Pecos County index searches but the documents that are available online don’t go back as far as you may require.

Unless researching your family history is just a cool way to spend your time (not to be discounted), just want to point out that 1 acre of the absolutely best land in Pecos County is not worth a ton. And one acre in most of Pecos County is worth pretty much zero. So just factor that into how much effort you want to put into any of this.

I’d just frame the old deed and put it on your office wall as art and call it a win, but I’m lazy.