Where do I begin

I had been contacted by a company that is leasing our well and I have received the division order. Where did I begin my involvement with my rights so that I may receive royalties, past and future…

It would help if you give the amount of information you've received so far. Specifics and personal data must be redacted but a general overview of what company, lease terms, location (state) and your status as owner would help out and create opportunities for answers, explanations and other questions.

Welcome and good luck.

You should go to your State and County group. A division order is an indication that a well has been drilled and completed somewhere in some State.

Sounds like I gotta prove my ownership first. Any suggestions where I should start.

I don’t know where to start to prove my ownership and begin making my claim to my rights.

Hi, Campbell!

Welcome to The Forum!

To prove your ownership, you will need to learn how to study the County Clerk's Records (Deeds, Oil and Gas Leases, etc.) as well as the District and County Civil Court Records.

That's what Landmen such as myself do professionally, but there is nothing stopping you from learning how to do it yourself, other than perhaps the fact that Utah is a long way from Texas.

For the Well(s) you have received a Division Order for, you don't have to prove your ownership. The Company, through it's Landmen and Attorneys have already determined your ownership.

If you request a little assistance, they will normally be willing to send you copies of any documents whereby you acquired or inherited your interest.

I see where you listed owning Interests in Texas. If you could post the legal description(s), I will be happy to take a look at the area and Well(s) and send you that information.

If you could provide us with the possible name(s) the ownership(s) could be found under, that would help as well.

What County(ies) you suspect your family's ownership might be in?. Texas has 254 Counties - it would help if you could narrow them down some.

If you would like to send that kind of information more privately, The Forum allows us to send each other Invitations to become A Friend on The Forum. I will send you one in a minute. Accept my invitation and you can send me the legal descriptions and names that way.

Hope this helps -

Charles Emery Tooke III

Certified Professional Landman

Fort Worth, Texas

Kindly correct me if I'm mistaken.

The oil company through its agents and attorneys are under the assumption Ms. Bey is the owner. Even though they've located her she may have to prove inheritance from past probate's, will's or trust's.

In our case we went back 2 generations and presented certified copies of death certificates, wills, etc. in order to complete an assured, proven ownership to Noble. Only then were we able to complete a lease followed by a quit claim to the next generation. I've got a 3 ring binder, 4-1/2 inches thick acquired over 9 months that I covet almost as much as my confirmation bible. With our situation each generation had a single child, I simply can't imagine what others have gone through with multiples of multiples.

My father made a wise choice that 1 child of 6 was to handle this situation and be kept quite about. Not patting my back, but once the situation was finalized, explained and presented to the family one brother went to work, the town and likely the local car wash saying we owned over 900 acres of Colorado land.

Imagine 6 sibling decision makers: 2 complete environmentalists, 2 wholly against fracking only, 1 "whatever everyone else wants" and the last 1 decides everything and distributes royalties after tax increase's are subtracted from my AGI. Dads philosophy was simple, his grandfather purchased these rights as mineral investment's starting in the 10's, 20's and 40's his father in the 50's and no one has the right to go against their wishes, desires or wisdom.

Great Grandpa had instinct, a company called Humble Oil & Refining, ended up with 780 shares and in "Ma Bell"/Bell System/American Telephone & Telegraph had 635 shares of that. I hope his wisdom was passed down to all of us.

I've written another dissertation and I'll get a lecture if the children see this. Best of luck Ms. Bey, you'll get good information here and some awfully long histories.

Best Regards, John

Hey, John -

Your response here was very enjoyable to read. I may even start to "follow" you on The Forum, which I haven't yet done with anyone else.

I agree with you that your Great Grandfather, Father (and I assume also your Grandfather) were all very wise men in their investments in mineral rights.

And, yes, there is frequently one individual in a given family that "Keeps Up" with a family's ownership issues.

A couple of things:

If you will go to the Top of this Message String and click on Campbell Bey's name, right after where it says "Posted by", you will see that Campbell is a Mr., not a Ms. I am certain he forgives you for your incorrect assumption.

I, too, am one of 6 children, so I can very much relate to your comments regarding the difficulties in negotiating the different attitudes that siblings have.

Having been a Landman for more than 38 years, I have witnessed / suffered through the different attitudes that different family members can have many times about certain issues.

I have noted, however, that the first Royalty Check very often usually shuts the "Naysayers" down, as far as Fracking or any other Environmental issues goes.

Your "4-1/2" thick binder of your family's last two generations is something that you are fortunate to have, especially in that it was only from two generations, each with only single children.

It is more typical for me, as a Landman, to have to determine ownerships of dozens, if not hundreds of people who have inherited mineral and royalty interests in a given tract of land, beginning from Sovereignty through to the present.

From "Sovereignty" meaning, here in Texas, from a Spanish Land Grant, Mexican Land Grant or a Patent from the State of Texas: A complete legal documental history of a given piece of land or mineral interest from "The Beginning of Time" to date.

Any one of which can amount to a stack of copies of documents up to two feet tall or even more. One, that took me over 2-1/2 years to put together, the stack of documents was taller than I am. And I am 5' 7".

Well, with shoes on...

One final note before I get back to the US Tennis Matches: If your Great Grandpa purchased 780 original shares of Humble Oil and 635 original shares of "Ma Bell" and your family still owns those interests, I would be very interested in meeting any unmarried Daughters you might have.

Her "Looks" don't have anything to do with it.

Tee Hee

Thank you for your kind comments, my salutation will be corrected.

I was raised with respect, learning and then earned trust. Your wisdom, experience and commentary are welcome, will be shared with father and siblings as I committed to an open book on this adventure. Names out of respect, will be redacted.

I'm going back to NASCAR myself, my sisters are taken, my daughters engaged with a Winchester and I'm kinda sure my brothers don't matter, not that it makes any difference today. As for generational wisdom, my father saw something in a fruit company in the late 70's, he managed and scheduled about 180 union electricians in Chicago for my Grand Fathers company. His believe in computers led him to a multi colored symbol with a 1/4 bite taken out. I only hope this generational foresight is passed on, his choice of fruit turned out well. Some day, someone will hear of our dog's, a tail of "I really believed in this................I knew this was a..........".

Because if sounds to good to be true........

Thank you, again. John

Our mineral rights are on my father’s side of my family. We have rights in Texas and Louisiana. Sounds like I have a lot of work ahead of me. When it come to my share of the rights, do I have to seek to solidify my ownership as a family or can I seek just my share separately. I’m not sure if I can get us all on the same page.

Mr. Bey,

I'll take a stab at this and realize I'm not a professional, just a construction project manager. My belief is you will need to trace "all the way back" and use our family as an example, using simplified numbers as example.

Great Grandpa bought 25% of rights, had a son so he got 100% of the 25%. Let's say G.G. had 2 children and split everything down the middle, one child got married and had 4 children the other married and 1 child.

Upon G.G.'s death each child gets 12.5% of the rights, for one family when both parents pass the 12.5% is divided equally to the 4 children or 3.125% per child, the family with one child would get the full 12.5%.

A families growth through generations is exponential depending on which "side" you're on, because of the single child families ours was easy, until my Father sowed his oats for a full house of 6. Using the 25% number again each sibling is entitled to 4.16666666% of the rights. We have 4 children so "my" 4.1666666 dilutes to 1.0416666% per child.

In other words you need to find the original lease holder and their will or probate to determine where your search begins. What you share with others is your own business and I know what your feelings, at the very least you should be reimbursed for expenditures, gas and cups of bad coffee from government vending machines. Plan on spending a lot time in court house's, county/parish clerk offices or other Govt. entities.

I've got two piece's of advice, obtain 2 copies of every document with each page certified or embossed by the providing office, the other is a half dozen yellow pads because you're going to need to write down a lot of dates & times, whom spoken to, the office and date promised. I like to jot down the persons personality, small talk we had and any other item that can build a friend for the next call.

I hope I'm guiding you on what may be ahead of you, I trust anyone will correct my explanations and add to or better a way to obtain your records search.

Good Luck, John

Thanks John this does help a lot. I have two division orders that show what each of us is entitled to and it mirrors what you describe because I’m my father’s only child my percent is higher than my cousins. I will begin my search for the paperwork and information that will prove my entitlement. The orders mention us as the known heirs. Will the county help in getting that information to me


The County Clerk's and the County and District Court Clerk's staff are not allowed to research the records for you or offer any legal advice. You will either need to learn how to do the research yourself or hire a Landman to do the research for you.

Land, mineral and royalty title can be very time consuming and expensive. The least expensive way that I can suggest for you is that you wait until a Landman contacts you about leasing your interests. You can then add a provision to your Lease(s) requiring that the company provide you with a copy of any Title Notes, Title Run Sheets and Title Opinions that cover your interests.

That will get you thousands upon thousands upon thousands of dollars' worth of very detailed research for FREE, 90-Days Same As Cash.

If you know the legal descriptions to your interests and the names they might still be under of record, I will see what I can dig up on them for you. You may have royalties in suspense waiting for you to claim them.

If you want to send the legal descriptions and names privately, accept the invitation to become A Friend on The Forum I am about to send you and you can send it that way.


Mr. Bey,

I don't know how your government structure is set up "down there", Tom Ed Moore in a comment above suggested going to your state and county group on this forum. Go to the top of this page find groups, click and scroll down to your state, most counties are listed within the state. In Illinois I spent most of my time at the clerk of the circuit court of 2 different counties and county clerks for death certificates. Some information can be found online to speed things up but I suggest certified copies which can only be done at the office.

One upside to this world of computers- Did you ever sit for 6 hours looking at microfilm / fiche ?

Best Regards, John

EDIT: This is situational advice only, we started our research after being contacted by 4 companies. We closed our lease with Noble on our own, with higher gross. We used an attorney for the quit claim deed, which was the easiest part but wanted clear title and advice for any event in the future. Heck, my dad even cashed my $10.00 check.