Royalty interest

What does it mean when someone is granted one percent royalty interest of 320 acres?

Does it mean 1% of the mineral acres?



Dear Mr. Dahl,

You did not share enough information for anybody to make a definitive response.


This is what the “Assignment of Royalty” document said;

Known All Men By These, that Bxxx xxxx, a widow of Cxxxxx, ND for the consideration of of the sum of one dollar and other valuable considerations in hand, paid by Mr. Oxxxx of Sxxxxx, ND. hereby called the assignee , the receipt of which is hereby acknowledged and confessed do hereby transfer, convey and set over to the said assignee, all my right, title and interest in and to eleven and one half percent (11 1/2%) royalty of all oil and gas produced or saved from the lands located in the County of Mxxxxx, State of ND. to wit:

S1/2 of section x -xxx- xx

and embracing 320 acres more or less.

The name of my grandmother is typed in and the name of the notary is typed in, no signatures are on the document of either party or the notary. It was recorded in a misc. book at the courthouse, indexed in a blind mortgage index.

I don’t see how the mineral acres conveyed can be calculated from this document alone?

Mr Oxxxxx spent time in a federal prison for tax evasion a few years after this transaction. So he was not honest Abe.

My grandfather had passed away 9 months prior to this transaction, he had no will. So,…according to ND law she would own 1/3 of the 318 actual acres or 106 mineral acres, the remaining acres divided between the children.

In 1946 she leased for 1/8 royalty on the whole 318 acres. My grandfather’s final decree of distribution was done in 1951. Then in 1952 a “Lease Ratification” was completed, my father was issued 188 mineral acres. Finally in 1956 the oil company changed the division order to reflect the transaction with Mr Oxxxx, my father’s net acres were reduced by 106 mineral acres.

About 1995 a mineral search was done by a landman and he calculated that my father owned 188 mineral acres.

Is the royalty assignment between my grandmother and Mr Oxxxx binding? or is the landman correct? He could have missed the document as I found it in the blind index for mortgages by accident.

I think the acres could be calculated when we know the royalty on the lease? However that is ten years later…


Dear Mr. Dahl,

I know nothing of ND law. If this land was in a jurisdiction that I knew something about, it appears that you grandmother conveyed 11.5% non participating royalty interest. In ND, I have no idea and will quickly defer to someone who knows what they are talking about. As to my jurisdictions, this does appear to be a royalty conveyance and not a mineral conveyance.

As to no signatures, this was back in 1946. Other documents of that time period – were they transcribed or photographed? If transcribed, then you would not see a signature.

As to mis-indexed documents, the general rule is that if the document has been filed, actual notice has occurred, whether you can ever find it or not.

I tend to go with the 1995 landman, but, like I said, will quickly stand corrected because of my ignorance of the vagrancies of ND law that I have no knowledge.


Jay Dahl said:

This is what the “Assignment of Royalty” document said;

How much of the interestr are you looking to sale?

Patricia Scarborough said:

Hi. Im new to this web site/forum and Im not sure which discussion I should be posting in. I have 51% interest to 1320 acres in S. Nacogdoches/San Augustine Co., in the haynesville Shale. I am looking to sell a portion of my interest. Where is the best place to start as far as looking for investors that would have an interest in buying non-producing minerals? THX!

When you sell a portion of your royalty interest, the sale expires at the point that the lease expires (if leased). Correct?

It depends on the language contained in the royalty deed. Most royalty deeds are a burden on the mineral rights and not specific to the lease, so future leases would be subject to the royalty sale.


Thanks for your reply!!

On the final decree of my grandfather’s estate, 1/3 is granted to my grandmother, which is 106 acres on the this property. I have not found a law from the 1930s that stipulates how an estate, without a will, is to be distributed. I am using the final decree, the testimony of some older relatives and the fact that mineral owners are getting paid 12.5% royalty on the mineral acres they inherited from the estate. I would however like to see the law so I could be 100% sure.

I reviewed hundreds of royalty assignments from the 1930s in our county and found that 99% of the assignments are for 1% royalty or less. Mr. Oxxxx, owned a dealership for automobiles and farm equipment and also spent time for tax evasion. Mr Oxxxx, was granted several royalty assignments from farmers for 10% royalty and more. Sometimes a few days later a considerable portion of the royalties were returned to the farmer. My guess is they found out he robbed them, went back and demanded he return some of the royalties.

I found documents where Mr. Oxxxx, sold 5% royalty to 4 different individuals. Then in 1951, nineteen days prior to the final decree being recorded, he grant 6 2/3% royalty (even though he only had 6.5 remaining) back to my grandfather’s heirs.

My grandfather passed away in 1937, the royalty assignment was done six months later. The final decree was not completed until 1951… I have reviewed every document recorded for this property and there is no record on file at the courthouse stating they had joint tenancy.



Debra Ganske said:

I just wanted to note, if your grandmother and grandfather owned the property as joint tenants (with the right of survivorship), then your grandmother became the sole owner of the entire property immediately upon your grandfather’s death–and no part of the land would have passed to the children via the laws of intestate succession.
Did you find the laws of intestate succession as they existed in North Dakota at the time of your grandfather’s death? How did you determine that your grandmother inherited only one-third of the property via intestate succession? Was that information contained in the “final decree of distribution” that you stated was done in 1951? Just curious…