Performing a search for the mineral rights records to a particular parcel of land helps determine the ownership interests connected to the land. One person may own the property above the surface, while someone else has an ownership interest in the minerals beneath the surface. The owner of the mineral estate has the power to retrieve the minerals below the surface of the land. Conducting a chain-of-title search of the property helps to discover the actual owner of the mineral estate.
Compile all of the information that you have in connection with the property. If you own the property, you will need to get a copy of the property deed. It also is beneficial to make a copy of the tax-identification number in connection to the property. With this information, you could contact the tax collector’s office to determine whether it keeps tax coal records for properties located in the county. Making a note of previous owners and the postal address will help ease the search process. If you do not own the property, find the names of the owners of the property.
Go to the County Recorder’s office in the county where the property is located. Property owners must record the deeds and other real estate documents at the office, and the recorder maintains a record of these documents for each property located inside of the county. Visit the recorder's website first to perform a search online or acquire additional important information about performing a title search.
Access the deeds to the property and keep a record of important aspects of the deeds as you search the chain of title, beginning with the most recently recorded deed. Make of note of the names of the grantors and grantees, the date of the deed and the date each deed was recorded. Also, each deed has a description of all owners, which helps to locate earlier recorded deeds.
Read what each previous owner had a right to own. The deed usually contains words indicating the grantor’s rights in the property and any limitations to the grantor’s rights. Older deeds that date to the early 1900s typically contain information regarding who owns the mineral rights. Also, as you continue to connect the previous owners, some older deeds may have a mention of the sale of oil, coal or gas rights or who owns the mineral rights. After discovering the original owner of the mineral estate, begin searching the deeds forward in time to find the ownership interest transferred from each grantor to determine the current owner of the mineral estate.
Marie Huntington has been a legal and business writer since 2002 with articles appearing on various websites. She also provides travel-related content online and holds a Juris Doctor from Thomas Cooley Law School.