Older mineral leases and division orders

I'm very new to this field and feel like I'm learning a new language. I am taking over the management of my 97 year old mother's Texas oil and minerals holdings. I brought home a box full of files with many mineral leases, division orders, land leases that date from 1942 to the present. The paperwork is overwhelming. With techniques in bringing minerals to the surface, I'm wondering if these older leases are worth anything. I'm a bit lost.

Is there a website that allows me to look up leases and division orders by name of owner or lease number? Can anyone point me in the right direction?

Thank you.

Vanita, You most likely have a box of gold. Look at this as great and exciting plus possibly very lucrative.

The Texas Railroad Commission has a website that you can learn to use and look up the leases and production.

Google the Texas Railroad Commission and try it out. It takes a little time to learn it.

Mineral rights are never worth nothing! Don't sell them or give them away.

Thank you for you advice. I’ll start doing my homework.

Vanita -

I'm a Landman with more than 30 years of experience keeping records straight for clients and client companies.

I agree with Walter - congratulations, you may be looking at a pot of gold! And you are definitely off to a new adventure, with lots and lots to learn about!

You can review the records of the County Clerk for any county in Texas at their offices for free. Many County Clerk's Offices even have their records, or at least some of them, online. Their records are indexed by name, in both Direct and Reverse Indexes [Grantor, Seller, Lessor, Vendor, Mortgagor - Grantee, Buyer, Lessee, Vendee, Mortgagee].

There are also Title Plants (Record Rooms) maintained by various Title and Abstract Companies that Index the Counties Records by legal description, but most charge by the hour for you to use them.

Division Orders are considered privately held records, owned by the various companies operating wells. But copies of Mineral Tax Rolls are available for publc viewing at most County Appraisal District Offices. All Appraisal Districts will have Rolls where you can look up an individual's producing (taxable) mineral interests. Some will have a second set of Rolls where you can look up all the owners of a given well.

We subscribe to an online website called DrillingInfo that posts Mineral Tax Rolls for most, if not all, of the wells in Texas. It is a little expensive for individuals, but if your list is not too long I may be able to pull them up for you.

First, you need to sort out all of the papers by which property they effect. Sort them by County, then by Survey, then acreage call / legal description. If you don't already know how, you will need to learn how to read legal descriptions to do that.

Once you've done that, send me a list of the Counties and Surveys and I'll help you map out what properties you have interest in the best I can.

The next step will be to determine the nature of your interest and how much of it you own (I'll be happy to show you how). And then to determine whether each of the tracts are under production, under a lease or "open".

I'm not sure how to do it, but the Mineral Rights Forum apparently has a way for you to leave me private messages or send me proprietary information if you want.

Hope this helps -

Charles Tooke

Certified Professional Landman

Fort Worth, Texas

That's all great news! And what a generous offer. I will continue on my steep learning curve and begin sorting as you suggested. Is there online material that could teach me how to read the legal descriptions? I live in Wyoming and would love to be able to access information online when the opportunity exists. Otherwise will plan to visit county offices when I visit my mother in Texas in October.

I so appreciate you taking the time to give me some sage advice. Sounds like I have some work to do.



Dear Ms. Fowden,

For the benefit of others, you can go to


It has a listing of counties and if you click on the county in question and select search by owner, you will get mineral as well as surface appraisals. In the case of minerals, it will show the name of the well and the current operator. It will also list the State of Texas Lease Number, which you can then search on the Texas Railroad Commission website and get production history - back until 1993, I think.

If texascad.com sends you to a paysite, then type in google, "COUNTYNAME CAD" and you will find out if there is an alternate free site.

Thanks Buddy! I’ll try that. I have many older leases, some that go back to 1950. Guess no luck in finding those online?

Dear Ms. Fowden,

If you have the County Name, search the family last name and see what comes up. The old stuff may no longer be producing.

When you say "Family Last Name" are you referring to the well name or the person who owns the interest?

I guess I was hoping that some of the older ones may now be ripe for producing again with all the new methods we have of recovering minerals. Is this just wishful thinking?