Researching your Property

Microfiche Record Search at County Clerks Office

At this junction it is assumed that you know the legal description of your property. At a minimum you know your Section, Township and Range. If you have a property smaller than 40 acres which is a quarter quarter section ((1/4 of 1/4) then you should know have either a lot number or some other legal description for your property to get it narrowed down. With any luck you will not need to know your property description down to the foot.

Since Mineral Leases are usually leased in larger blocks, if your minerals were “peeled” off before you purchased your property, it would usually have been in 40 acre or larger plots. This is of course only a most likely case, mineral leases could have been sold in smaller units if it suited the previous landowner for some reason, although it is extremely doubtful.

With your legal land description in hand you should first go to your County Assessors office and tell them you wish to determine the mineral ownership of your property.  They will steer you to a plat map that shows who owns the minerals as they understand it. They will show you papers that describe how the minerals have passed from person to person. In most cases they should be able to tell you if you own your minerals. They will point you to documents that may be stored on paper or more likely on microfiche. These documents will be found at the County Clerk’s office which should be close, hopefully a few doors down.

At the Clerk’s Office the documents they point you to will be listed in a particular Book and Page. There may be multiple Books for you to look at. The staff there will show you how to work the microfiche machine and let you go. For a small sum (perhaps a quarter) you will be able to print a page of a document when you find it. PRINT ALL THE DOCUMENTS YOU FIND!

With documents in hand you should be able to piece together the picture of what percentage, if any, of the minerals under your land you own.

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One Response to Researching your Property

  1. TwinKingMom says:

    Excellent guidance. My neighbor and I are heading down to DougCo Clerk’s office tomorrow to start our research adventure. After attending a meeting on Tuesday night, we are just starting to explore your site. Thank you for gathering so much valuable info. My family has already been contacted by two different oil companies last year. Fortunately, we ignored their offers. There are only 10 homes on our street (no home owners group), but we will begin trying to coordinate with the other neighbors ASAP. We are in Sec 20, 6S , 65W (in the crosshairs, I think).

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