My husband’s mother passed away 5 years ago. About a year ago we started getting offer letters to buy minderal rights for her land/ownership. He is next of kin so all of this is coming to him but we have no information on what exactly she owns in order to determine if the offers are fair. We live in Massachusetts. The land is in Stephens OK. Does anyone know how we can track down what she owns?
To begin with you may be able to tract the interest through KellPro But their records go back only to 1995. If the records are earlier, an attorney or landman could check the books in the courthouse. If you have the Section Township Range in the offers that can help. Often purchasers will share information about net mineral acres as well as legal descriptions. It is almost a certianty that you will need to probate the minerals to be able to sell, convey, or receive royalties. You should also check Oklahoma Unclaimed Property under her name.
This can be complicated task when families do not have documention of property ownership.
With no documentation, we start looking for clues. Sometimes the best clues come from the history and genealogy of the family.
Those letters usually have some description, so records may not that be difficult to find, possibly only having to search in one section index book. However additional properties may take much more work.
Searching for names in the grantor grantee index might help. You can search online on okcountyrecords.com, but these only go back about 25 years for Stephens Co.
Many instances like this are the results of ownership originating a few generations before. Searching for probate orders of the names of relatives that might share ownership in the same area.
There are databases some professionals subscribe to that can beneficial to search in. These will sometimes provide clues to make a subsequent search easier. The success will be better with unique names such as yours. Searching for David Jones would give far many more false positives.
Simply asking the companies making the offer to lease or buy, may give you more infornation. In many cases they have the source deed you would otherwise be looking for. They may or may not be willing to give up data.