Wishing a successful and prosperous New year

Wishing a successful and prosperous New year to all our members, subscribers, supporters, heirs and descendants.  May 2015 be a year of victories for us as we unite together as one voice. Coming soon a live Radio interview about some recent developments.

 

tvocSq4.fw

LEGAL ISSUES RELATED TO THE OWNERSHIP OF MINERALS IN TEXAS – SUPPLEMENT #2 WHITE PAPER GUIDE TO HB724

PART 3 of A WHITE PAPER GUIDE TO HB724

SUPPLEMENT #2  hashtag #whitepaperhb724

DATED MAY 25, 2014 

UNCLAIMED MINERAL PROCEEDS COMMISSION IN ITS HISTORICAL MISSION

March 21, 2014/April 25, 2014

BY MR. GEORGE FARIAS


TOPIC: RESPONSE TO MEMORANDUM FROM COMMISSIONERS TRACE BURTON, 

DONATO RAMOS JR. AND JAIME RANGEL DATED APRIL 25, 2014 

ON LEGAL ISSUES RELATED TO THE OWNERSHIP OF MINERALS IN TEXAS

Since I am not an attorney I cannot formally respond to this memorandum about mineral ownership

in Texas. However, I can respond from a layman’s point of view and I will ask our legal advocates

to respond later from a professional standpoint. After reviewing the memorandum and thinking about

the impact on our claims from mineral production from unclaimed wells, I have concluded that these

issues are irrelevant to our mission as follows:

 

1. Ownership of Minerals to Texas Citizens per Constitution of 1866.

As stated previously in testimony, the children and grandchildren of the original land grantee

were living on the lands and the rights were thus awarded to the family of the grantee. The

first major oil discovery was in 1894 in Corsicana and later in the South Texas land grants.

Our families have full rights to those minerals and some descendants still own parcels with

title and are receiving royalties. Therefore it does not make any difference what happened

before 1866 whether the state owned it or gave it retrospectively.

 

2. Transfer of Minerals by Contract.

In the Heirs brochure in the third panel under “Unclaimed Surface and Mineral Estates,”

the opening paragraph says. “Normally under Texas property law when a person sells a

piece of land and no mention is made of the mineral contained, the rights pass on to the

purchaser. In the case of land grants, if no mention is made of the transference of minerals

by sale or conveyance of the land, the minerals are retained by the seller and pass on to

the heirs.” In the brochure I synthesized the research of others and this passage was taken

from the website of the Lands Grant Justice Association from their history section as footnoted.

I believe the author of this legal interpretation is Attorney Don Tomlinson and you may

question him on this when he testifies June 27th.

 

Since this statement relates to scrutiny of a contract it has no relevance to our claims because the reason

unclaimed wells exist is that no contract can be found. There is no paperwork to determine ownership.

 

These issues, then,  have no bearing on our claims.

Author George Farías blogged and used by permission  

Please note: these are Mr. Farias' personal presentations to the HB724 commission as a descendant/heir and do not reflect the opinions of anyone else. They are a matter of public record. 
 Photo Credit: Source: the Voice of Change Network Copyright 2014 All Rights Reserved

Please stay tuned for the part 4 of this white paper or see the tag #whitepaperhb724 for all articles in this series

 

 

Deposits of minerals from unclaimed wells – SUPPLEMENT #1 White Paper

Lets pray and fight for a new year which returns our royalties and bonuses back every rightful heir.

PART 2 of A WHITE PAPER GUIDE TO HB724

SUPPLEMENT #1   #whitepaperhb724

DATED MAY 19, 2014 

UNCLAIMED MINERAL PROCEEDS COMMISSION IN ITS HISTORICAL MISSION 

March 21, 2014/April 25, 2014

BY MR. GEORGE FARIAS


 

TOPIC:  DEPOSITS OF MINERALS FROM UNCLAIMED WELLS.


 


 

 

My complaint on April 25, 2014 about deposits into the Texas General Revenue Fund of

minerals from unclaimed wells, appropriated for state expenditures, was not to imply any

malfeasance on the part of the state. I realized after my presentation that Mr. Jim Sheer

confirmed that these monies were being  appropriated for expenditures but a reserve is set

aside for timely payment of claims.  I am sure all descendants have no complains that the

money is being used for education, infrastructure, for fighting crime etc.

 

Our concern is the manner in which it is done and the lack of transparency. My recommendation

is, initially, a simple accounting and fiduciary procedure. After deposit into the Texas General

Revenue Fund the money can be transferred to a trust fund to be managed by the Comptroller’s

Unclaimed Property Division separate and apart from the other property described. I understand

the state is entitled to the interest earned from the trust. The interest can be used to hire additional

staff to supervise the fund, and for other administrative costs, as it grows and as claims are

processed and disbursed. This fund can be visible to the public in the same fashion as the other

types of unclaimed property.

 

I believe the fund will increase dramatically. Assume, for example that it reaches three

billion dollars and the  is facing a budget shortfall of 2 billion. It does not make sense to ignore

this resource. By legislative action the funds can be borrowed to balance the budget. The balance

sheet of the fund will now show one billion dollars in cash and investments and a 2 billion dollar

loan to the state. Of course, in directly appropriating the funds, the state loses the interest earnings

but I understand this is a tradeoff. With a little patience the state can earn interest and utilize legally

any available trust funds. The loan can be interest free.

 

In this transparent method everyone benefits and the use of the funds are maximized.

I hope the HB724 commission will consider this recommendation and include it in their final report.

 

Author George Farías blogged and used by permission

Please note: these are Mr. Farias' personal presentations to the HB724 commission as a descendant/heir and do not reflect the opinions of anyone else. They are a matter of public record. 
 Photo Credit: Source: the Voice of Change Network Copyright 2014 All Rights Reserved

Please stay tuned for the part 3 of this white paper or see the tag #whitepaperhb724 for all articles in this series

INTRODUCTION TO THE LAWS, THE FUNDS AND HB724 – A WHITE PAPER GUIDE TO HB724 PART 1 BY MR. GEORGE FARIAS

PART 1 of A WHITE PAPER GUIDE TO HB724

INTRODUCTION hashtag #whitepaperhb724

UNCLAIMED MINERAL PROCEEDS COMMISSION IN ITS HISTORICAL MISSION 

March 21, 2014  PART 1   

BY MR. GEORGE FARIAS


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Click on the topic for the link, please note some supplements are scheduled for publication in the next few days

INTRODUCTION :  INTRODUCTION TO THE LAWS, THE FUNDS, DUTIES AND HB724 INFO

Supplement #1 DEPOSITS OF MINERALS FROM UNCLAIMED WELLS

Supplement #2 LEGAL ISSUES RELATED TO THE OWNERSHIP OF MINERALS IN TEXAS

Supplement #3 ASSISTANCE TO THE UNCLAIMED LAND GRANT MINERALS

Supplement #4 PROPOSED DRAFT OF LEGISLATIVE REPORT

Supplement #5 PROPOSED LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE TO REPRESENT INTERESTS OF LAND GRANTEES

Supplement #6 PROPOSED DRAFT FOR UNCLAIMED MINERAL PROCEEDS COMMISSION

Supplement #7 WHICH FUNDS BELONG TO THE SPANISH LAND GRANT HEIRS?

 


TOPICS:

INTRODUCTION TO THE LAWS, THE FUNDS, DUTIES AND HB724 INFO


 

 

 

TVOC Inserted Note: Please note we are breaking this supplement up into parts for easier understanding.  

Please note: these are Mr. Farias' personal presentations to the HB724 commission as a descendant/heir and do not reflect the opinions of anyone else. They are a matter of public record. 

Please note on Page 1 about acceptable forms of proof for deceased descendants we highlighted in Red. Interestingly the State is not accepting proof heirship from the heirs. This is the point of why HB724 was created to help us get the funds, they are withholding. 

Also you will see some boxes of information like this box, we have decided to break this article up in subtopics for easy digest. They are not part of the original document, they are notes to identify subtopics in the white paper.

 

INTRO

 

The work and mission of the HB724 Unclaimed Mineral Proceeds Commission appear to be complex,

but in reality they are simple and attainable. Some general comments are provided first and then a

specific approach is outlined to comply with the mandates contained in House Bill 724 to study

unclaimed land grant mineral proceeds.

 

The descendants of Spanish and Mexican land grants in South Texas maintain that  Common Law, 

i.e. Texas Property Law, enacted in 1840, authorizes and gives them the right to file claims against 

mineral proceeds from unclaimed oil and gas wells whose owners have never been found, which 

are located in the respective land grants awarded their ancestors.

 

The most important conclusion for the commission to reach is a major legal one, confirming and 

validating that these descendants do have a claim to those minerals under present law as written, 

that is, that it is intrinsic in the law.  For the commission to reach this consensus may require an

independent interpretation of the law because the law  neither specifically authorizes this right, referring

to  “unknown heirs,” who now have become “known” by virtue of a declaratory judgment in state district

court, nor does it specifically deny it. In a simplistic viewpoint, if the law does not prohibit something then

it must be legal.  To be realistic, the validation of the law might require an official interpretation.

 

 UNCLAIMED PAYOUTS

It is interesting to note the following statement in the state comptroller’s websiteWindow on State 

Government,   “Unclaimed Property and Mineral Proceeds,” Item (6) states, “If the owner is 

deceased, you can provide the Unclaimed Property Division with documentation proving you 

are an heir of the reported owner. Such documentation includes copies of wills, or, if there 

is no will, a notarized  Affidavit of Heirship is required for claims of less than $10,000 or less.  

Claims that exceed $10,000 require a court’s Determination of Heirship or a Small Estates 

Affidavit of Heirship, both of which require a judge’s signature.” (see Attachment A). 

No doubt, the declaratory judgment meets this requirement. 

TVOC Inserted Note: See http://www.window.state.tx.us/up/98-893_UP_Mineral_Proceeds.pdf   
and http://www.window.state.tx.us/up/gen_claims.html

This statement by the state comptroller indicates that her office has accepted formal legal heirship 

documents to pay claims for unclaimed mineral proceeds. If so, a precedent has been established. 

A review of payments by the comptroller for claims using legal heirship documents should confirm 

the claims of descendants of Spanish and Mexican land grants.

 

Payment of such claims by the comptroller need not necessarily have been made to these 

descendants but might have been paid to other Texas citizens. For example, a person in the 

Permian Basin might have found out his great grandfather sold the land but not the minerals, 

left no will, and never formally passed title to his descendants.  With heirship court documents, 

the person could claim his or her rights. It also seems very possible that a review of case law 

would discover legal challenges ruled in favor of the heirs.

 

 CLAIMS OF RIGHTS - HELP OF COMMISSION

Since this is a state matter the Texas Attorney General is the person to provide an opinion, which normally

takes six months to promulgate. I recommend that one or two lawyers from the attorney general’s office be

assigned to the commission to obtain this opinion and as liaison personnel to assist in expediting the legal

opinion process. This assignment of staff is in keeping with Section 2(h) of HB724 that states,

“On the commission’s request, the comptroller, or any other state agency,

department, or office shall provide any assistance this commission needs to perform the commission’s

duties.” These lawyers can also help scrutinize the related points of law for an opinion.  The other legal points

to be clarified  include laws about transference of mineral rights when the contract is silent, current statutes of

limitations, if any, the transference of minerals to owners under the Texas Constitution of 1866, the fiduciary

responsibility of the state for unclaimed funds and its rights to interest on those funds (but not the principal),

etc.  It is not the job of the commission to do homework. That is the responsibility of staff. The idea of a

subcommittee to do limited study is a sound one, which I refer to as an executive committee if it includes

the chairman.

 

One of the other legal points bears clarification. It has been stated that prior to 1866 Texas landowners did

not own the mineral interests on the land, but many of the families of the original grantee were living on the

land. However, Appendix III of the New Guide to Spanish and Mexican Land Grants in South Texas, Texas

General land Office, 2009, “Sal del Rey” and Mineral Rights in Texas, pages 167-168, states,

“This prompted a substitute ordinance with a broad and contrary effect.

The substitute did not refer specifically to “Sal del Rey.’ Instead it proposed giving away the state’s

mineral interest to existing surface owners. The effect was retrospective.  Owners of land granted 

by the successive sovereigns   (Spain, Mexico, Republic of Texas, and the state of Texas) before 

adoption of this amendment, would be given complete ownership of the minerals on their land. “ 

(see Attachment B)

 

 MINERAL PROCEEDS

There seems to be confusion about what constitutes unclaimed mineral proceeds. I divide them into

two categories. The first I call Type One and are abandoned royalties of title holders who have 

disappeared. These proceeds come back to the oil and gas companies, and every three years they

come back to the state with an amount and name or best description. This is the fund maintained by the

Texas Comptroller’s Unclaimed Property Division mixed in with traveler’s checks, bank accounts, and

other property. The analysis of these funds indicate  that most of the persons named will never be able to

recover their property.

 

The other unclaimed mineral proceeds are those I categorize as Type Two, those produced from 

unclaimed wells whose owners have never been found without a name attached.  These funds

come to the state after three years such as the Type One proceeds to be kept in trust by the state.

If, as previously mentioned, the unclaimed wells have the initials of the original land grantee that

practice enforces descendants’ claims.

 

Oil and gas companies make extensive efforts to find rightful owners for obviously they need to

legally drill for all the benefits of current revenues and payment of royalties to lease holders. They

make exhaustive searches of county and other records. Failing there the oil and gas companies

desire to stake a claim by drilling an unclaimed well at great expense. It is an investment in the

future as they hope and pray that  rightful owners will someday come forth.

 

DRILLING PERMITS / PROCESSES / MONEY RECORDING KEEPING

Drilling an unclaimed well requires a permit from a district judge representing the state, called a

receivership hearing. In granting the request, the judge may require the oil and gas company to

reserve 100% of the funds and pass them on to the state after three years or the

 

judge may require that the funds be deposited in a county bank account called a registry. If the rightful

owners show up in the future, the  oil and gas company can recoup its investment. In one case I reviewed,

the petroleum company could keep 75% and grant the owners a 25% royalty. This ratio may not be uniform.

 

This process raises several questionsFirst, does all the money kept initially by the drilling company 

or held by the county find its way ultimately to the state? Second, does the state monitor these wells, 

their units and dollars of production, to insure all funds are paid in? Third, what controls does the 

state have to insure that all the monies find their way to state coffers? As a former auditor, a major

part of my study was to determine if a company had what are called good internal controls. The

Texas Railroad Commission has all the records and an analysis of their data should show the

number of unclaimed wells and their units and dollars of production. From this data the state could

set up an accounts receivable for each oil company. Fourth, are the oil and gas companies 

sending in reports as required to corroborate the Texas Railroad Commission figures? If the

state is accepting the money on faith, human nature will take the path of least resistance and retain the

funds.

 

Fifth, do state agencies have adequate staff to perform their duties, especially now with the 

increased production from the Eagle Ford Shale and forthcoming new mineral discoveries? 

Sixth, is the state enforcing the 1985 law and are the oil and gas companies meeting their 

agreements to abide by the law?

 

 HOW MUCH MONEY ARE WE TALKING ABOUT

The next important question to be raised here is to determine the amount of money that has 

been submitted to the state since 1985. The oil and gas companies and the state absolved themselves

of all liabilities before then. The law mandates that these proceeds be deposited into the General

Revenue Fund. What we do not know is what happens after that.

 

Does the comptroller’s unclaimed property division handle these funds or do they go directly 

to another department?  Is there  a large escrow account holding the fifty million dollars in trust 

pledged by Getty Oil and it’s forty-nine fellow plaintiffs to start a new fund, in addition to thirty-three 

years of production (since September 1, 1980 as per Compromise Settlement Agreement) or has 

the state appropriated and budgeted the funds for other state needs? If so, it questions the 

fiduciary responsibility of the state, which can be corrected currently by starting to deposit 

Type Two mineral proceeds in a trust account that is visible to all.   

 

WELLS WITH NO NAMES ATTACHED

The question then must arise as to why there are so many wells with no owner and no name attached.

The answer is simple. The land grantee and his or her family never sold or otherwise conveyed these

mineral interests. The possibility that someone will show up with title in hand registered in a county that

he or she is the owner of a certain unclaimed well is remote. In most cases, therefore, the descendant 

heirs maintain that the ownership is still in the estate of the land grantee, that the rights are still in 

the family, and the descendants are “de facto” owners.  Webster defines  de facto as ” in reality or

fact, serving a function without being legally or officially established, or in practice not necessarily

ordained by law.”

 

 EXAMPLE OF FIRST DECLARATORY JUDGEMENT

On July 8, 2008, my first declaratory judgment was approved by the late 229th District 

Judge Ricardo H. Garcia for the Jacinto de la Peña land grant in Zapata County.

During the proceedings Mrs. Eileen McKenzie Fowler, my attorney, asked Judge Garcia if, in his opinion, 

the heirs had a right to these unclaimed minerals. He said, “There is no doubt about it.” It is in

the record. This was one judge’s opinion but from a distinguished jurist with a long résumé. This was

encouraging to me and confirmed what we had been told by Mrs. Fowler. As she mentioned in her

prior report, this was also the opinion of Houston 157th Civil District Court Judge Felix Salazar and

her former law partner, described posthumously as a “trailblazer.” He had a major role in kicking off

our campaign. Mrs. Fowler and Judge Salazar consulted with other Houston lawyers for assistance

in designing a workable plan to bring justice long-delayed and long-denied to South Texas families.

 

 MISCONCEPTIONS

There are some misconceptions that need clarification about our cause: 

  1. That our claim will infringe on the rights of title holders. That is incorrect as they have full
  2. legal rights and contracts with oil and gas companies, many of them generating lucrative royalties.
  3. Our HEIRS brochure on the front page states this very emphatically so that there is no misunderstanding.
  4. As previously stated, we have no claim on land as the state laws of adverse possession are clear about this.
  5. That our descendants will become wealthy by filing claims. Except for a lucky few that will not be the case

The basic formula will be based upon the amount of production and the personal percentage interest each

claimant has to the whole base of descendants of that grant. If I am one of a hundred living descendants

(called primaries), my declaratory judgment would show that I can only get 1%. If there are thousands of

descendants on my grant, my percentage goes down. I can only claim my share and no more. However,

we are claiming thirty-three years of back production and for future production,

so the sums received may be slightly more than modest. These funds would be important,

nonetheless, as many descendants are on retirement incomes or are unemployed.

6. That the state escrow funds will be compromised or depleted.

That will never happen. Oil and gas revenues are increasing and the funds will be stimulated.

More importantly, the majority of claimants , here also, will never come forward. Even though

thousands have joined our cause, there are hundreds of thousands and perhaps millions who

will never come forward.  The monies are there in perpetuity, if and when any descendant comes

forward.  Our experience is that most descendants do not know their ancestry, they have other

personal priorities, and many are simply not interested.

7. That the oil and gas companies are obligated to the heirs certified in court as

     legitimate descendants by a declaratory judgment. 

Not so. The oil and gas companies, under the law, are obligated to the state for deposits of unclaimed funds.

Their direct obligations are to title holders who have leases. Any noted problems are between them.

The state, in turn, under property law, is obligated to the descendants for payment of unclaimed minerals.

Descendants look to the State of Texas for justice.

I believe with the help of the commission a win-win situation can be achieved.

Descendants should have no adversaries in claiming their rights. The work of the commission

will guide the state to make improvements. It was correctly stated previously that it is not the commission’s

responsibility to audit or correct noted deficiencies in the state system. That is the work of state

agencies and the legislature. However, in the process of its work and hearing testimony from different

parties, the commission can make recommendations that will have substantial weight. The commission’s

ultimate work will benefit the state, the oil and gas companies, always in need of good public relations, the

title holders, and ultimately descendants who have been disenfranchised. All citizen of Texas will benefit

from the commissions deliberations and conscientious conclusions.

SOME HISTORY OF HB724

The HEIRS Committee under Mrs. Eileen McKenzie Fowler tried to amend the law in 2013 similar to the

HB2611 bill in 2011 spearheaded by Mr. Al Cisneros that did not pass. Representative Ryan Guillen

would not sponsor it again because he said he did not have the votes, and it would not pass. At the time

we found out that he and his staff had filed HB724. The HEIRS Committee had no input in writing the bill.

Representative Guillen said that if he sponsored a bill recommending a commission to independently

review the matter, it had a better chance of passing. At that point Mrs. Fowler’s clients mobilized to

support the bill and wrote their state representatives and senators in support. Her group of client

descendants (twenty thousand of whom perhaps twelve thousand are registered voters) is the

largest, and their letters, calls, and emails were a deciding factor in its passage. I am certain other

descendants perceived its value and advocated as well.

 

Mr. Al Cisneros and his colleague and friend, former Senator Hector Uribe, also had a significant

impact with their work and expert testimony getting it out of the state house of representatives committee.

There was a concerted effort in the Senate to kill the bill but was saved by District 21 Senator Judith 

Zaffirini from Laredo.  It was her skill, perseverance and long service to Texas which outmaneuvered

those bent on its destruction.

 

Our group also had the help of the HEIRS committee of clients headed by Mrs. Fowler,

Mrs. Rita Lopez Tice, business owner from Laredo, Mr. Miguel Alonso “Al’ Martinez,

business owner from Corpus Christi, Ms. Cecilia Gallardo Vallejo from San Antonio now

a case manager for Mrs. Fowler in La Porte, and our lobbyist Mr. Jimmy Willborn, all

descendants. Mr. Willborn was very instrumental in our success in his visits to Austin. He is

a former police officer, past president of the San Antonio Police Officers Association, and a

former Bexar County constable. He and his wife have worked tirelessly over the years in

support of legislation to benefit peace officers in their critical and dangerous work. He also

has the added distinction of having been Director of the Texas Narcotics Control Program

under former Governor Ann Richards. We are indebted also to the other sponsors of the

bill, Texas House of Representative members, Abel Herrero District 34, J.M. Lozano 

District 43, Roberto D. Alonso District 104, Philip Cortez District 117 and in the Senate

20th District Senator Juan “ Chuy” Hinojosa.

 

The bill passed with one nay vote in the House of Representatives and three nay votes in the Senate.

Representative Guillen called this a “landmark” bill.  It is, in my estimation, the most significant law

regarding property law and oil and gas legislation since 1985. It was a minor miracle. It is an old truism

that if you want to pass a bill In Austin, you need money and power. We had virtually no money,

but we did have power in the thousands who wrote their representatives and senators. For certain

there is some conflict and discord among the descendants regarding the progress and the avenues

being followed, but all are united in seeking the same remedy.

 

HB724 seems to have passed, I believe, because the legislature saw this commission as

coming into being at a very critical time. The commission’s work has higher implications

due to the revenues that are at stake with burgeoning oil and gas explorations. No doubt the

legislature felt it would be a great opportunity for a responsible and diverse professional group

to help move Texas forward into the 21st century.

 

 TEXAS RAILROAD COMMISSION RECOMMENDATION

To review this matter and to have a  broader picture, I recommend  invited testimony from the

Texas Railroad Commission, The Texas Oil and Gas Association, a district judge who issues

unclaimed well permits, or, in the alternative, a lawyer who works full-time finding rightful

owners. Carroll Lake and Associates in Kenedy, Texas, employ fifty lawyers for this purpose,

mostly doing work for Marathon Oil Company. Perhaps one of their lawyers could testify.

 

 COMPLIANCE

 

To get to the heart of the matter I am listing the individual mandates of HB 724 and the 

resource necessary to comply:


Section 3(1) the amount of unclaimed original land grant proceeds delivered to the comptroller 

that remain unclaimed on December 1, 2014.

Source: The state comptroller’s office can verify the Type One unclaimed mineral proceeds

from their data base by breaking down how much are unclaimed mineral proceeds from  title

holders separate from  bank accounts, travelers checks and other property. This is for information

and has no significant bearing for most descendants.    Type Two Unclaimed mineral proceeds

will be more difficult to determine since the law apparently only requires the state comptroller to

keep records for ten years. An analysis by the comptroller can be done on unclaimed mineral

proceeds that have been  received from oil and gas sources from all property in Texas for the

period. Perhaps,  they will be able to break down how much came from the land grants. However,

while not comprehensive it  will provide an idea of what has been received and what should have

been deposited in an escrow account.


 

Section 3(2) recommendations for efficient and effective procedures under which the 

state may be required to (A)  determine the owners of the proceeds; (B) notify the 

owners of the proceeds; and (C) distribute  the proceeds to the owners.

 

Source: Title holder owners of the proceeds cannot be found as oil and gas companies

have been unable to do so. What the commission can do is validate that the

descendants of the   original grantee have a vested right and are “ de facto” owners.

Notification can be done through their respective lawyers, but it will not be possible

to notify all eligible. The  proceeds can be distributed in the same fashion.


 

Section 3(3) proposed legislation necessary to implement the recommendation 

made in the final report.

 

Source: Mrs. Fowler in her report on February 28, 2014, included for the public record

proposed amendments to the Texas Property Law, if needed, to make the law more

inclusive but should not be necessary to validate claims.


 

Section 3(4) any administrative recommendations proposed by the commission.

 

Source: The testimony and facts gathered during its proceedings will result in natural recommendations to the state.


 

Section 3(5) a complete explanation of each of the commission’s recommendations

Source: A task of the writing of the report.


 

It is worthy to note in closing that payment of claims will, to some degree, stimulate the Texas

economy. The monies will come back to  the government in federal Income taxes and state sales,

gasoline, and other taxes. The money will find its way back to Austin in the end.

 

       Mr. Lance K. Bruun, commission chairman, stated correctly at the first meeting on January 31, 2014,

that it is not the responsibility of the commission to hear past grievances. However his patience and that

of the commission in allowing public testimony about past injuries to South Texas families was commendable

because it revealed that our cause is not a perfunctory one but deeply rooted in tragic events experienced

for over a century. Recognizing the past, the descendants look forward to the future and the great

opportunity this forum represents for relief.

 

In  conclusion, the descendants seek accountability and justice by the equitable distribution of oil

and gas revenues.  It is hoped that these facts, opinions, and ideas will guide the commission in

its very momentous  task.  I would be pleased to  lend support as needed and  appreciate the

willingness of the commissioners to serve and to undertake this historical mission.

 

________________________                                  _________________________

Signed                                                                    Date

 

Biographical Note: George Farias  is  a retired executive director of a community mental health center in Bexar County. His hobby is ancestral study and U.S. Borderlands history and is an online retailer of books in these subject categories. He is a writer of family history books and genealogical and historical essays. His ancestors had twelve grants in South Texas containing  97,918 acres. Six of these grants have good gas and oil production, and he has been certified for three of those as a legitimate heir by declaratory judgment. He joined Mrs. Eileen McKenzie Fowler’s program in 2006 and is member of her HEIRS committee. He is also vice president of The Land Grant Justice Association, Inc.

 

Author George Farías blogged and used by permission  see our terms to request permission to publish
Please note: these are Mr. Farias' personal presentations to the HB724 commission as a descendant/heir and do not reflect the opinions of anyone else. They are a matter of public record. 
Photo Credit: Source: the Voice of Change Network Copyright 2014 All Rights Reserved

Please read part 2 of this white paper  or see the tag #whitepaperhb724

Results of the Dec 2014 Unclaimed Mineral Rights Commission Meeting

These are official minutes of the meetings with the recommendations.

Have you read the failure notice click here,   also you should start to digest the official commission’s final recommendations click here (we will help you interpret the truth there there is much ambiguity. )

We had a couple of our networks members present and active at the meeting and will be connecting us to some other people that can help.

There were two great speakers, and we are working on obtaining those scripts they read, we will also post here.

The committee made several recommendations, which were  taken from notes watching live and from our correspondent and these notes  are extrapolated from the minutes:

III. ADOPTED RECOMMENDATIONS
After careful consideration of written and oral testimony presented throughout the Commission’s
hearings, members met on December 19 to formally discuss and adopt recommendations.25
Pursuant to HB 724, Section 3, the Commission has adopted the following recommendations for
the consideration of the 84th Legislature:
1. That the Comptroller by rule if possible, or the Legislature by statute if necessary,
prospectively require oil company holders to report property information required to be
included on “check stubs” pursuant to Texas Natural Resources Code Section 91.502,
including the lease, property or well name, and the county in which the lease, property, or
well is located for each well for which mineral proceeds are reported and remitted to the
Comptroller as unclaimed property.
2. That the Comptroller by rule if possible, or the Legislature by statute if necessary,
prospectively require oil company holders to report the survey name, the General Land
Office abstract number from Railroad Commission Form W-1 (Application for Permit to
Drill, Deepen, Plug Back or Re-Enter, item 10 on current form), and the GPS coordinates
from Railroad Commission Form W-1 for each well for which mineral proceeds are
reported and remitted to the Comptroller as unclaimed property.
3. That the Legislature amend Texas Civil Practices & Remedies Code Sections 64.091,
Receiver for Mineral Interests Owned by Nonresident or Absentee, 64.092, Receiver for
Contingent Interest in Minerals, and 61.093, Receiver for Royalty Interests Owned by
Nonresident or Absentee to:
1. Require the applicant for a receivership to furnish the Comptroller with a
certified copy of any judgment granting a receivership;

(we don't know what that [certified copies] means)

2. Provide that all payments to the Clerks of Court resulting from any such
receiverships be subject to the unclaimed mineral proceeds reporting
requirements of the Texas Property Code;26 and
3. For receiverships filed prior to the effective date of this change, that the
Clerks of Court of all counties in the State of Texas report, in a form
prescribed by the Comptroller, receivership proceedings filed beginning
January 1, 1986 to the present.
4. That the Comptroller by rule if possible, or the Legislature by statute if necessary, hold in
a separate account those unclaimed mineral proceeds derived from areas within the
original Spanish and Mexican land grants.

5. That the Legislature should suggest that the Speaker of the House of Representatives and
the Lieutenant Governor set a committee interim charge to study and address past
injustices against Tejano landowners.
6. That the Legislature appropriate additional resources to the Comptroller’s office to
provide enhanced bilingual outreach, including: strengthening the understanding of the
current laws, proactively educating families on the processes for establishing heirship,
pursuing a claim for unclaimed mineral proceeds, as well as providing general
information to families with questions. Additional staff person(s) and resources should be
directed to the Comptroller’s South Texas field offices.
7. The Comptroller should enhance and/or increase audits of: 1) government and private
sector entities that may be holding unclaimed mineral proceeds; and 2) unclaimed
property that is reported to the Comptroller.

VII. COMMISSION RECOMMENDATIONS
The Commission met on December 19 with the primary goal of adopting recommendations
pursuant to HB 724, Section 3.
Rules adopted by the Commission required recommendations to be formally presented by a
Commission member. Members of the public were able to submit recommendations for the
Commission’s consideration, which may or may not have been brought up for discussion on the
motion of a sitting Commission member. Throughout the proceedings, Mr. Bruun repeatedly
requested submissions of written recommendations from both the public and members of the
Commission.
A. Adopted Recommendations
The following recommendations, in the order in which they were considered, received a majority
vote and are therefore adopted by the Commission:
1. That the Comptroller by rule if possible, or the Legislature by statute if necessary,
prospectively require oil company holders to report property information required to be
included on “check stubs” pursuant to Texas Natural Resources Code Section 91.502,
including the lease, property or well name, and the county in which the lease, property, or
well is located for each well for which mineral proceeds are reported and remitted to the
Comptroller as unclaimed property.
Aye: Bruun, Bock, Burton, Ramos, Bazan, Canales, Rangel, Cisneros
Nay: None
Present not Voting (PNV): Allison, Barragan, Aston, Wolfe, Blanton
2. That the Comptroller by rule if possible, or the Legislature by statute if necessary,
prospectively require oil company holders to report the survey name, the General Land
Office abstract number from Railroad Commission Form W-1 (Application for Permit to
Drill, Deepen, Plug Back or Re-Enter, item 10 on current form), and the GPS coordinates
from Railroad Commission Form W-1 for each well for which mineral proceeds are reported
and remitted to the Comptroller as unclaimed property.
Aye: Bruun, Bock, Burton, Ramos, Bazan, Canales, Rangel, Cisneros
Nay: None
PNV: Allison, Barragan, Aston, Wolfe, Blanton
3. That the Legislature amend Texas Civil Practices & Remedies Code Sections 64.091,
Receiver for Mineral Interests Owned by Nonresident or Absentee, 64.092, Receiver for
Contingent Interest in Minerals, and 61.093, Receiver for Royalty Interests Owned by
Nonresident or Absentee to:
1. Require the applicant for a receivership to furnish the Comptroller with a
certified copy of any judgment granting a receivership;

2. Provide that all payments to the Clerks of Court resulting from any such
receiverships be subject to the unclaimed mineral proceeds reporting requirements
of the Texas Property Code;94 and
3. For receiverships filed prior to the effective date of this change, that the Clerks of
Court of all counties in the State of Texas report, in a form prescribed by the
Comptroller, receivership proceedings filed beginning January 1, 1986 to the
present.
Aye: Bruun, Bock, Burton, Ramos, Bazan, Canales, Rangel, and Cisneros
Nay: None
PNV: Allison, Barragan, Aston, Wolfe, Blanton
4. The revenue from unclaimed property is deposited in the General Revenue Fund and
ultimately used for General Revenue Fund purposes. The movement and expenditure of the
revenue creates deep feelings of mistrust, especially from many within the Tejano population
who believe they may have legitimate claim to the unclaimed mineral proceeds. To promote
transparency in government the Comptroller by rule if possible, or the Legislature by statute
if necessary, should hold in a separate account those unclaimed mineral proceeds derived
from areas within the original Spanish and Mexican land grants.
Aye: Bock, Burton, Bazan, Canales, Rangel, Cisneros
Nay: Bruun, Ramos
PNV: Allison, Barragan, Aston, Blanton
5. Much of the public testimony discussed lands that were taken over the course of the last 150
years either by unlawful force, intimidation, or coercion. These lands in question produce or
may have produced mineral proceeds at one time. To give this subject the attention it
deserves, the Legislature should suggest that the Speaker of the House of Representatives and
the Lieutenant Governor set a committee interim charge so the subject and a remedy can be
studied during the next interim period following the legislative session.
Aye: Bruun, Bock, Burton, Ramos, Bazan, Canales, Rangel, Cisneros
Nay: None
PNV: Allison, Barragan, Aston, Blanton

6. Testimony during the course of the Commission hearings revealed there are many questions
from families about the processes related to making unclaimed mineral proceeds claims. The
Comptroller’s office, with additional personnel and resources, can provide enhanced outreach,
including: strengthening the understanding of the current laws, proactively educating families
on the processes for establishing heirship, pursuing a claim for unclaimed mineral proceeds,
as well as providing general information to families with questions. In furtherance of this
objective, the Comptroller’s office should have the additional staff person(s) based out of
their South Texas field offices where many families reside. Communication and outreach efforts should also be made available in Spanish. Partnership opportunities with other state
agencies, the State Bar, professional associations, and universities should be considered. The
Legislature should appropriate the additional position and resources.
Aye: Bruun, Bock, Burton, Ramos, Bazan, Canales, Rangel, Cisneros
Nay: None
PNV: Allison, Barragan, Aston, Blanton
7. The Comptroller should enhance its auditing in two areas: 1) government or private sector
entities that may be holding unclaimed mineral proceeds, and 2) more auditing opportunities
for unclaimed property that is reported to the Comptroller. First, during the Commission
hearings, two cases reviewed in Starr County were performed at the request of the
Commission. As a result, over $150,000 was deposited in the General Revenue Fund. Audits
should focus on government entities with Spanish, Mexican, Republic of Texas, and State of
Texas land grants within their jurisdictions. This review would ensure that any unclaimed
proceeds are paid to the state and are available to be claimed by the rightful owners. Second,
testimony was given detailing the current scope of work for verifying payment of proceeds to
the Comptroller. Given the testimony alleging reporting deficiencies, as well as the current
significant well activity in Texas, enhanced auditing should be implemented. The
Comptroller and Legislature should take appropriate action to achieve results, as needed.
Aye: Bruun, Bock, Burton, Ramos, Bazan, Canales, Rangel, Cisneros
Nay: None
PNV: Allison, Barragan, Aston, Blanton

B. Minority Recommendations
The Commission’s rules allowed for minority recommendations to be included in the final report.
Minority recommendations are defined as those recommendations which received a vote by the
Commission following a motion and a second, but failed to garner a majority of the
Commission’s support. The following are those recommendations in the order in which they
were discussed:
1. That Property Code Section 75.101 be amended to reduce the holding period for unclaimed
and presumed abandoned mineral proceeds from three years to one year.
Aye: Bazan, Cisneros
Nay: Bruun, Bock, Burton, Ramos, Canales, Rangel
PNV: Allison, Barragan, Aston, Wolfe, Blanton
2. That the Legislature study the creation of a Special Claims Court dedicated to resolving the
claims by proven descendants for unclaimed and presumed abandoned mineral proceeds not
reported to the Comptroller. In a setting much like the trespass to try title action allowed in
the District Courts of Texas, the Special Claims Court would center on: 1) establishing
ownership of mineral proceeds proven 2) traced with legal certainty of uninterrupted title

down and to descendants who have 3) proven their rightful heirship according to established

genealogical principles.95
Aye: Bock, Bazan, Canales, Cisneros
Nay: Bruun, Burton, Ramos, Rangel
PNV: Allison, Barragan, Aston, Blanton
December 19, 2014
Testimony96
John Falcon
Historical Injustices against Tejano
Landowners
Jose Sierra, Jr.
Eileen McKenzie Fowler Attorney
96

There was much more information please watch it for yourself.  If anyone knows the second speaker from Chicago, please contact us, we would like to get him involved.

You can watch the meeting here  http://www.house.state.tx.us/video-audio/capitol-events/

the Voice of Change is on top of this information for you, and following closely all news. We have a associated press volunteer who is helping us with information gathering and posting news media.  As a member when you come across articles and information, you can also submit posts.

 Photo Credit: Source: Unclaimed Mineral Rights Commission Meeting  Photographer: G. Dixon (featured image from video)

 

12/26/2014 Comments are off the Voice of Change
Share:

Petition Update

We sent out an administration email by mistake, our apologies

We are giving you an weekly update please sign and urge others to sign the petition;

we have 6 that signed the petition in the last 3 days, our first goal is 100, then 1000, then 10,000 then 100,000 then 1,000,000 +.

Members to date: 250 TVOC Network out of 3.5 million Hispanic voters just in the state of Texas, however we know there are many out of state descendants and heirs.

Happy Holidays,  Here is the link to the petition:

http://thevoiceofchange.info/need-signature-petition-state-texas-release-funds/

We need your signature to petition the State of Texas to release our funds

What better time when all of us are with our relatives over the holidays, and you know sooner or later the land grant topic will
come up, you can mention for everyone to sign this campaign.

Please click here to see the cause and sign today

or the link below

http://thevoiceofchange.info/portfolio/sign-petition-state-texas-release-royalties-bonuses/

12/22/2014 Comments are off the Voice of Change
Share:

Member, Supporter & Volunteer Skills Checklist

We created a form for our members, volunteers and supporters to fill out, their skills they can contribute to our causes.  We need all the help we can get.  These are Skills & Professions that you can help with, or someone in your family or a close friend that would like to donate their skills.  If you are donating someone else’s skills, please have them fill out this form, although you could also fill out the form and be their point of contact. Thank you.  If you would like to be published publicly as having the skill or your profession please check the box in the form, which gives us permission to display your contact name, and email.  If you are working already on a project  please inform us  using this form

12/19/2014 Comments are off the Voice of Change
Share:

My story

Hello, I would like to share my story, this story is very difficult for me. I would ask this network to keep my identity anonymous.

I would like people to know it took me 3 years to be declared an heir, but to this day the Texas government will not release my funds or other people’s funds. I know this is illegal, and I know from the laws that protect me that I read on this site, from the Supreme court for example, prove that some day I will have my inheritance.

I have been through …. trying to prove my ancestry.  Now the  people who I voted for deny me my funds, this wrong. I will be voting for new people next year.

I can show you every oil and gas well that has been dug on the properties I inherited.  I have much documentation, but the State won’t accept it.  This is why I joined this network, to help with the elections and future activism.

I am not a quitter, I won’t give up. I am a fighter and I will win.

I joined this network because I  they say that they want to bring us together.  I am going to remain positive and fight for my rights. This network has showed me what I need to do and what steps I need to take next to receive my money.

Thank you for letting me share my story.

 

 

 

Big Oil Companies paying off politicians, secretive alliances exposed Part 1.

AP

Attorney General’s offices from around the nation are collaborating with the big oil companies, under the table, to keep away from regulations.

1-devon-scripted-letters-new-p10-normal 1-devon-scripted-letters-new-p1-normal 1-devon-scripted-letters-new-p80-normal
We have uncovered some information through our Associated Press reporter, but also the NyTimes is reporting more documents here: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/12/07/us/politics/documents-attorneys-general-and-the-energy-industry.html

The problem with these secretive alliances, is they are paying off politicians, elected officials to get away with not conforming to regulations and laws.

Scott Pruitt, the AG of Oklahoma said Federal regulators were “grossly” overestimating air pollution caused by drilling companies. His letter he presented was authored by a Devon Energy Lawyer, and delivered to him by Devon’s chief of lobbying.

 

Sound familiar to the Unclaimed Mineral Rights commission? Who sits on the commission?

Gov. Rick Perry who was reluctant to sign HB 724 but under political and financial pressure signed but appointed his own biased committee leaders,  our background checks revealed:

Lance Bruun: occupation: Attorney for big oil companies
Trace Burton: occupation: Attorney for big oil companies
Bennie Bock: occupation: Attorney for big oil companies
Donato D. Ramos: occupation: Attorney for big oil companies

We just completed background checks on :
Jonathon Bazan, left last month to take a high-level job at Dallas County who was supporting the heirs.  We are now in contact with him.

Ed Canales a retired physician we are doing background checks on him to find out why he was chosen but looks like he supports us too.

Four out of six ( 4 out of 6 ) worked for the big oil companies, this is a conflict of interest big time!

There are other members of the commission, that these leaders appointed.  Only one of those people seemed to be on our side.

Investigations into the State of Texas

What we haven’t reported yet is who and how many people are the oil companies are paying off ?  What kind of corruption in the State of Texas is there? We know that in South Texas the FBI is investigation some corruption, but they have not made their way to Austin yet.

We have an investigative reporting who is working on some things, if you know some things, please use our secure contact form click here.

This is why it is very important for the commission to hear everyone, and do this with public record, (Audio/Video), just as much as it is

important for us to get our information out to the public, in the meeting but also through outlets like the voice of change network, and through letters, and other media.

Upcoming highlight : Stay tuned for our Video we are producing involving how we are under attack of mis-information from politicians,

and big oil companies who are paying off people to report this mis-information and mis-construde laws.

Will the voters of HB724 support us in 2015?

This is a great question to ask as we are preparing for the last unclaimed mineral rights commission meeting of this year and next year’s upcoming elections.   Here you will find 137 votes Yea and 1 Nay, that’s pretty good.  Of course that was in the house, and who was that Naysayer ? Rep. Debbie Riddle

Who voted for our cause?  http://legiscan.com/TX/rollcall/HB724/id/277560

What’s the next step?  We need to contact everyone of those people who voted for this bill, you can find their contacts by clicking here.  If they are not listed a quick Google search will help you locate them.  We want to ask them will they continue to support our causes for next year.  You can use this form letter  -click here or modify it to your own liking and then record their responses with this form click here, and you can click here to see who said they will support us.

What about the senate ? This link and this link you see who did supported it  : Yeas: Birdwell, Carona, Davis, Deuell, Duncan, Ellis, Eltife, Estes, Fraser, Garcia, Hancock, Hegar, Hinojosa, Huffman, Lucio, Nichols, Patrick, Paxton, Rodrı´guez, Seliger, Taylor, Uresti, VanideiPutte, Watson, West, Whitmire, Zaffirini. Nays: Campbell, Nelson, Schwertner. Absent-excused: Williams. The bill was read third time and was passed by the following vote: Yeasi27, Naysi3. (Same as previous roll call)

What does this tell us?  Well first of all it tells us not alot.  These elected officials vote differently depending on the pressure they receive from the different networks of heirs. So this doesn’t mean the the officials who voted Nay will vote Nay again, we simply don’t know. That is why it is utterly important to begin this next step in contacting them.

Secondly, you can keep the record of responses to yourself, but it would be nice if you would share it with us.  Please refer to this link later or our election / news so we can have form for you to submit you results.  Then we can compare notes.

Thirdly, not only will this help you and other voters, our voice will ensure to these officials we mean business and next years elections are crucial for us to electing supportive candidates.

Lastly,  maybe you have some ideas for action this and next year,  please share them with us by becoming a member.  We need your help. It takes much work just to keep this site and network going.  The more help we have ,  the more voices we have, the more change we can make!

12/11/2014 Comments are off the Voice of Change
Share:

We would like to connect with you

We now have activated submit for our members. In fact there are many tools for our members, including downloads, heirs guide, protected content, legal help, event submission, ways to get involved , starting a cause, volunteering and more.

Now members can submit articles and stories for the site. This will help all of us be updated on news and efforts toward our common goals.

We would like to connect with the descendants, heirs, but also legal firms, other organizations, polititians (which support us), advocates and anyone who wants to help our causes.  Together one strong voice can make a change.

How to get involved, at the top right corner click Join/Volunteer and get started today.

We are keeping our yearly fee extremely low so we can help everyone, but also support this website costs to maintain and socialize on the www and news media.

Thanks  TVOC

United we stand – a cause to bring us together

We have all heard this phrase

United we stand, divided we fall

the phrase comes from a song written by Tony Hiller and Peter Simmons.  It was first released in 1970 by The Brotherhood of Man (in their original, pre-Eurovision line-up), becoming the band’s first hit, peaking at #13 in the U.S., #9 in Canada, and #10 in the U.K.[1][2] – source   wikipedia

Well we also know his from post 9/11 as a spiritual chant and motto to bring us together.

We are in a battle right now, and it is time we lay our differences aside and come together.  TVOC is not pro an exclusive group of people, we are for all descendants. There are over 3.8 million Hispanic voters in Texas and this is who we reach out to unite.  We also reach out to all of the Spanish land grant descendants and heirs. We reach out to ever professional who will help us, or support our cause. We reach out to ever leader and politician who will back us and support us.

This network is started by a descendant and heir and is working to bring us together.  Our news comes from all sources, not to support one person, or a committee of people. We are here to bring you facts, and the truth that all of the descendants need to work toward one common goal.   So when you see news, maybe it is focused on a particular person or group, and the reason we posted it, is because that person or group are the people who are working hard, and doing many things to help us get our rightful inheritance.

That doesn’t mean You can’t do anything, in fact we hope this inspires many other groups, from the north, south, east, west and central Texas areas to begin to do something, instead of sitting back talking about it, or dreaming that it will happen.  Maybe it is because you pray, or you write letters to elected officials, or that you have a specific attorney, or group of attorneys, or other groups that are working toward change.  Then this is great, because that is one step toward uniting.  We would like you to unite with us, whether it be through membership, or volunteering, or using this site for information for your to become more active.  It takes all of us to work together to make change. It takes our voices, our hands, our hearts, our prayers, our unity to produce some positive results.

We are not divided, maybe we are opinions, and that is okay.  We are united! Let’s stay united and work together more than ever before.

Would you think about become a member or volunteer of this network ?

Thank you

TVOC

12/07/2014 Comments are off the Voice of Change
Share:

Now you can subscribe to the Spanish Land Grant Descendant News

Subscribe to the Spanish Land Grant Descendant News and get any latest news published, look to the right of this post under donate and fill out the subscribe box, an email will ask to to confirm the subscription ( check your spam folder and mark as not spam).  All future news will be sent to your email.

Also please get involved and stay up to date with the latest events, and causes.

email-subscription

TVOC

 

HB 724 Commission Members and Contact info

We encourage you to stay in contact with these members in regards to how difficult it is to claim your funds, or even locate them within the comptrollers system.  You can also share your story on this site, under member submissions. Please refrain from defaming people on our side, this only complicates the matter..

Here is the list:

Jonathon Bazan [email protected]  (972) 721-2600 http://cityofirving.org/
Bennie Bock [email protected]  830-625-7574 http://www.gonegawatts.com/about.php
Lance Bruun http://www.lancebruun.com/contact-us/  (361) 884-8300 http://www.lancebruun.com
Trace Burton http://ufjblaw.com/contact/  210-829-1660 http://ufjblaw.com
Ed Canales  [email protected] https://www.facebook.com/eccanalesmd
Donato Ramos Jr [email protected]  956-722-9909 http://www.donatoramoslaw.com/contact-us

 

You can also present them with truths, facts and information about our rights, cite law etc. There are many examples on this site that will help. The more they know we are informed the more they will support us.

Questions you may ask them:

  • Will you help us get in our efforts to find the missing monies unaccounted for that belong to us?
  • Will you help those of us who are seeking to prove that we are an heir, so we can get paid our rightful royalties the State of Texas has been spending.
  • Will you help us sponsor and support future legislation?
  • Will you help to unsure the State comptroller accounts for every penny that was paid in to the heirs from years ago and into the future?
  • Will you help us pave the way that will make it easier to get the payouts from these royalties from the past, present and future from the State of Texas?

 

 

Gearing up for the upcoming 2015 Elections Step 1

Can you believe it?  It is already time to start hearing those ads on the the radio and seeing the news about state elections. Primaries are on March 3rd. This means we need to complete this step before April 3rd so we have a nice list to choose from when voting. We must start now. Are you registered?, did you vote in January? , are you sending out letters or making phone calls? are you getting other people active to help, or register to vote? are you uniting your family and group with this information?

Now more than ever it is important for us to make change, and add constituents in our government you support our causes.

In Austin alone we already have over 20,000 Hispanic voters on our side, as we are working on gathering totals of other major cities. Our goal is to engage 4 million eligible voters. Hispanics are the fastest growing population in Texas with more than 4 million eligible voters.
We are working with other groups and organizations and already are starting to campaign for the this years elections. We need your help, getting people united, involved in this network, and with elections.
Having large groups of people is one thing, but getting them active to use their voice, and volunteer to causes is another.  Our slogan is that we cannot remain silent any longer, it’s time to use our voice for change. We need your voice, and volunteer skills, and talents to help make a change.
It’s time to begin asking questions to current elected officials, and future elected officials.

Here are some of the questions that should be asked:
  • We are asking you if you will support our cause and rights?
  • Will you help us get in our efforts to find the missing monies unaccounted for that belong to us?
  • Will you help those of us who are seeking to prove that we are an heir, so we can get paid our rightful royalties the State of Texas has been spending?
  • Will you help us sponsor and support future legislation?
  • Will you help to unsure the State comptroller accounts for every penny that was paid in to the heirs from years ago and into the future?
  • Will you help us pave the way that will make it easier to get the payouts from these royalties from the past, present and future from the State of Texas?
To do this we have created a blanket letter see the download button,
DOWNLOAD FILES
Please record their responses with this form click here   then you can see the results click here :
WHO to send letters to?  You can click here to find the email addresses of every official.   I know this might take time, but the more letters they get the more serious they will know we are.  In the future we hope to enable an automated feature, or campaign that will automatically email every member in one or two steps, but this takes money, as we grow we can provide this automated feature. Even if we don’t get that many responses this can change what issues they decide.  So we need to send out thousands of letters and emails.

WHO IS RUNNING? When are the elections? 


Click here for Texas election candidates  or click here for more info at the Texas Secretary of States office including candidates, which also has instructions on registering to vote and making sure you are updated, as you campaign to get more voters involved.

As we get replies, please share back with us the letters of support, so we can add their name to “Intent to support” or other support lists. This will help our community vote those people in power who will help our causes.
Also look at the upcoming election events, on this website, there it will have information about who is running, links, contact links, election dates, etc.

We have a lot of election PR material for you also click here 

We will also update this and this site with information who is running in the primaries, we will use a star or color code system to identify those who support us. So keep looking for information here
If you have any suggestions as a member of our network please submit your story, article, news or ideas in the submit section under members.  Thanks for your help!

Elected Officials Directory

Here you can find a list of all the elected officals and their contact names.

In the future we hope to automate this feature so contacting them is easy.

https://www.texastribune.org/directory/

Senator John Cornyn (R- TX) 202-224-2934 202-228-2856 http://www.cornyn.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=Conta …
Senator Ted Cruz (R- TX) 202-224-5922 http://www.cruz.senate.gov/?p=email_senator
Representative Louie Gohmert (R – 01) 202-225-3035 202-226-1230 http://gohmert.house.gov/contact/
Representative Ted Poe (R – 02) 202-225-6565 202-225-5547 https://poe.house.gov/index.cfm/contact-form
Representative Sam Johnson (R – 03) 202-225-4201 202-225-1485 http://samjohnson.house.gov/contact/
Representative Ralph M. Hall (R – 04) 202-225-6673 202-225-3332 http://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml
Representative Jeb Hensarling (R – 05) 202-225-3484 202-226-4888 http://hensarling.house.gov/contact
Representative Joe Barton (R – 06) 202-225-2002 202-225-3052 https://joebarton.house.gov/contact1
Representative John Culberson (R – 07) 202-225-2571 202-225-4381 http://culberson.house.gov/contact/zipauth.htm
Representative Kevin Brady (R – 08) 202-225-4901 202-225-5524 https://kevinbrady.house.gov/contact-form
Representative Al Green (D – 09) 202-225-7508 202-225-2947 https://algreen.house.gov/contact-me/email-me
Representative Michael McCaul (R – 10) 202-225-2401 202-225-5955 https://mccaul.house.gov/contact/email-me
Representative Mike Conaway (R – 11) 202-225-3605 202-225-1783 http://conaway.house.gov/contact/
Representative Kay Granger (R – 12) 202-225-5071 202-225-5683 http://kaygranger.house.gov/contact-kay/email-me
Representative Mac Thornberry (R – 13) 202-225-3706 202-225-3486 http://thornberry.house.gov/contact/
Representative Randy Weber (R – 14) 202-225-2831 202-225-0271 https://weber.house.gov/contact/email-me
Representative Ruben Hinojosa (D – 15) 202-225-2531 202-225-5688 https://hinojosa.house.gov/contact-me/email-me
Representative Beto O’Rourke (D – 16) 202-225-4831 202-225-2016 https://orourke.house.gov/contact/email-me
Representative Bill Flores (R – 17) 202-225-6105 202-225-0350 http://flores.house.gov/contact/default.aspx
Representative Sheila Jackson Lee (D – 18) 202-225-3816 202-225-3317 https://jacksonlee.house.gov/contact/email-me
Representative Randy Neugebauer (R – 19) 202-225-4005 202-225-9615 https://randy.house.gov/contact-me/email-me
Representative Joaquin Castro (D – 20) 202-225-3236 202-225-1915 https://castro.house.gov/contact/email-me
Representative Lamar Smith (R – 21) 202-225-4236 202-225-8628 http://lamarsmith.house.gov/contact/email-lamar
Representative Pete Olson (R – 22) 202-225-5951 202-225-5241 https://olsonforms.house.gov/index.cfm?sectionid=162
Representative Pete Gallego (D – 23) 202-225-4511 202-225-2237 https://gallego.house.gov/contact/email-me
Representative Kenny Marchant (R – 24) 202-225-6605 202-225-0074 http://marchant.house.gov/contact/
Representative Roger Williams (R – 25) 202-225-9896 202-225-9692 https://williams.house.gov/contact/email-me
Representative Michael C. Burgess (R – 26) 202-225-7772 202-225-2919 http://burgess.house.gov/contact/356345.htm
Representative Blake Farenthold (R – 27) 202-225-7742 202-226-1134 http://farenthold.house.gov/contact/email.htm
Representative Henry Cuellar (D – 28) 202-225-1640 202-225-1641 http://cuellar.house.gov/contact/sendmeanemail.htm
Representative Gene Green (D – 29) 202-225-1688 202-225-9903 https://green.house.gov/contact-me/email-me
Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson (D – 30) 202-225-8885 202-226-1477 https://ebjohnson.house.gov/contact/email-me
Representative John R. Carter (R – 31) 202-225-3864 202-225-5886 https://carter.house.gov/email-john2
Representative Pete Sessions (R – 32) 202-225-2231 202-225-5878 https://sessions.house.gov/index.cfm/contact-form
Representative Marc Veasey (D – 33) 202-225-9897 202-225-9702 https://veasey.house.gov/contact/email-me
Representative Filemon Vela, Jr. (D – 34) 202-225-9901 202-225-9770 https://forms.house.gov/vela/webforms/email-me.shtml
Representative Lloyd Doggett (D – 35) 202-225-4865 202-225-3073 http://forms.house.gov/doggett/webforms/issue_subscri …
Representative Steve Stockman (R – 36) 202-225-1555 202-226-0396 https://stockman.house.gov/contact/email-me

How one person changed an election

I remember a few years back it was election time. I was involved in politics at the time and there were some really big issues on the table.  I was already involved in Government in my college, so I took advantage of that.

I organized in every high school person who was 18, every college students from different colleges and that is all I did.

I found 3 people to help me organize this. We paid for flyers together and used social media like Twitter, Google Plus, and Facebook to get out the message.

I was able to convince these people first to register to vote, then to think about the issues on the table, and I presented some very important facts and consequences based on the election results.

In just a few weeks we had over 5,000 voters and in a month we grew to 20,000 and we change the vote. The polls said just the opposite, so you can imagine how surprised people where.

My little event got so much attention, my college allowed me to use a big hall for the election night and celebration. We got a local college band, and we banded together to make a nice little celebration after our victory.

Really it didn’t cost us that much we were smart , we asked for printers to print things for us and sponsor us. We had food and drinks donated.  All it took was a few hours a week to make a change.

 

The Heirs Royalties Guide

bookcover

Learn the steps to obtaining your mineral royalties.

The guide from heirs who have obtained and/are in the process of obtaining their unclaimed property.  This guide is constantly updated with new information as laws/procedures change and are implemented that make it simpler to obtain your payouts.

  • Helps new decedents step by step learn how to
    • find out what land grants are theirs
    • find out how to check ancestry
    • how to get certified by the Court Declaratory Judgment in the county where the land resided, as a legitimate heir of the land grantee
    • list of specialized attorneys
  • Get your payout of royalties
    • how to submit to the State of Texas comptroller
    • how to seek to recover minerals payouts
    • how to get the state to acknowledge you are a legitimate heir
  • What other steps can be taken to get payouts
  • How to perform various searches to find all of your oil, gas and mineral drilling, digging on your lands
  • Information how to get started to be ready to collect on future royalties and bonuses

Become a member today and begin reading this guide.  

Join Now
12/02/2014 Comments are off the Voice of Change
Share:

Your Story

This could be your story about obtaining your unclaimed property, or your story of your continue to prove that you are a rightful heir, or your story of fighting with the Texas government trying to obtain our funds, or your story of how the state lost records of some of the funds, or your story about researching viable information to the group of Spanish land grant descendants, or another important story that can share your voice.

We accept any store unless it is defamation, or non truth / factual.  So join and share your story today.

UNCLAIMED SURFACE AND MINERAL ESTATES

Normally under Texas property law when a person sells a piece of land and no mention is made of the minerals contained, the rights pass on to the purchaser. In the case of land grants, if no mention is made of the transference of minerals by sale or conveyance of the land, the minerals are retained by the seller and pass on to his or her heirs.

As has been heretofore noted, the rightful owner of land in Texas must claim title within a certain period of time or possession vests in the current claimant. Not so with minerals in what is termed “Unclaimed Mineral Estates.” The “known” mineral estate is that portion of a tract of land for which there is a recorded title. Unclaimed mineral estate is that portion of a tract of land for which ownership of the minerals is “unknown.”

The amendment included in the 1866 Constitution stated, “That the State of Texas hereby releases to the owners of the soil all mines and mineral substances, that may be on the same, subject to such uniform rate of taxation as the Legislature may impose.” Most of the property owners in South Texas as of that ruling were the descendants of the original Spanish and Mexican land grantees, and the unclaimed mineral estates belong to them according to the laws of descent and distribution. These laws of distribution and descent defer to a valid will but, in the absence of such, various statutes define how property is to be distributed.

It might be noted that an unclaimed mineral estate may exist for owners in Texas other than the descendants of Spanish and Mexican land grants provided that in a sale of surface rights mineral rights were retained and became an unclaimed mineral estate. Sources: (1) Cisneros, Al. “History, http://www.landgrantjustice.org, The Land Grant Justice Association, Inc., accessed August 9, 2012. (2) Greaser, Galen. New Guide to Spanish and Mexican Land Grants in South Texas. Austin: Texas General Land Office, Jerry Patterson, Commissioner, 2009.

Author : George Farias blogged / used  by permission

Photo Credit: Source: University of Texas Austin    Website: http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/historical/history_texas.html
12/02/2014 Comments are off the Voice of Change
Share:

MINERAL RIGHTS IN TEXAS

MINERAL RIGHTS AND ROYALTIES. Private title to all land in Texas emanates from a grant by the sovereign of the soil (successively, Spain, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, and the state of Texas). Under the laws of Spain and Mexico, mines and their metals or minerals did not pass by the ordinary grant of the land without express words of designation. In one of the earliest acts of the Congress of the Republic of Texas, this rule was adopted, and it was continued in force after Texas had become a state. A grantee of land before 1866 therefore had no interest in the minerals in the land unless that interest was expressly granted. By a provision of the state Constitution of 1866, which was carried over in substantially the same language into the constitutions of 1869 and 1876,qqv the state released to the owner of the soil all mines and mineral substances therein. This constitutional provision had retrospective effect; the landowner was given complete ownership of the minerals in all lands that passed from the sovereign before the effective date of the Constitution of 1876. A similar relinquishment to the landowner of the sovereign’s retained interest in minerals was made in the revision of the Texas Civil Statutes in 1895, though it has not been litigated in the courts. Since 1876, it has been assumed that a grantee of land from the sovereign has received all minerals unless they are expressly reserved. Since 1895 substantial acreage of the public domain has been conveyed by the sovereign with a retention of rights to the minerals. Under the Relinquishment Act of 1919, as subsequently amended, the surface owner is made the agent of the state for the leasing of such lands, and both the surface owner and the state receive a fractional interest in the proceeds of the leasing and production of minerals. A considerable portion of the land of the state has been allocated to various educational and eleemosynary institutions, some of which has not been sold but merely leased for mineral development.

To the extent that a landowner also owns the minerals in his tract, he may legally sever such minerals from the surface estates. The owner of the minerals may produce them himself. The usual practice, however, is for a lease to be executed by the mineral owner to an operator who undertakes to develop the minerals. Although several lease forms are in use, their provisions are generally uniform; the significance of the variant provisions is not to be minimized, however. Typically, under a lease the operator assumes all expenses of operations to develop the mineral resources in return for a conveyance of 7/8 interest in them; the landowner or lessor retains 1/8 interest free and clear of all costs. This interest of the mineral owner or lessor is what is correctly known as royalty, although the term is sometimes more loosely used to describe an undivided interest in minerals arising out of an instrument other than a mineral lease.

Legally, oil and gas are minerals. About 2/3 of the 254 counties in Texas produce oil. About 54,000,000 acres of land in the state were under oil and gas lease in 1947. Since the mid-1950s oil and gas royalties have increased. The basic royalty on oil and gas was increased from 1/8 to 1/6 by the public school and other state land boards in 1955 and by the Board for Lease of University Lands in 1960 on gas and in 1961 on oil. The practice of overriding royalties being utilized as a portion of leasing and development promotion fees in the oil and gas industry, in amounts ranging from 1/32 to 1/4, has increasingly become a common practice. By 1995 royalties for state-run lands of the Permanent School Fund had a minimum standard of 6.25 percent of the gross value. Royalties in Texas, however, are usually negotiable and depend on a number of factors, including type of mineral and deposit.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Ann Van Wynen Thomas and A. J. Thomas, Jr., “Sal del Ray: Who Owns the Mineral Rights in Texas,” Journal of the American Studies Association of Texas 13 (1982).  http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/gym01

used  by permission

Photo Credit: Source: 1879 Bexar county Landowners Plat Map  Website: http://thewaytohome.weebly.com/
12/02/2014 Comments are off the Voice of Change
Share:

HISTORY OF SPANISH AND MEXICAN LAND GRANTS

LAND GRANTS. The history of land grants in Texas is a long and complex one. The earliest grant was made by the Spanish crown to establish a mission and presidio in East Texas in 1716. In 1731 town lots in San Antonio de Béxar were granted to Canary Islanders, and by the mid-1700s larger livestock grants were being made along the San Antonio River valley. In later years, the titles were issued by the governor of the province, who received a small fee, as did the local officials who participated in the process. Ranching lands further away from the town were generally held informally in the early years of Spanish Texas, and only regularized in later years. Private land grants in what is now South Texas did not begin until the mid-eighteenth century. Settlers in the colonies founded by José de Escandón in South Texas requested individual land allocations as early as 1753, but not until 1767 did a Spanish royal commission began the work of surveying and granting possession of land to individual colonists at the Rio Grande villas of Laredo, Mier, Camargo, Revilla (later Guerrero), and Reynosa. The commissioners, Juan Armando de Palacio and José de Ossorio y Llamas, were instructed to survey the various settlements and jurisdictions, to distribute the land to individual settlers, and record all transactions. The land was to be divided on the basis of merit and seniority, with the colonists divided into three categories: original, old, and recent settlers. Due to the shortage of water and the importance of irrigation for agriculture in the region, the commissioners surveyed long, thin strips of land, each with narrow frontage on a water course. These elongated quadrangles were known as porciones. The porciones in each of the five settlements was assigned a number. Many of the grants, especially the larger ones, also acquired names, usually derived from saints’ names, physical or natural characteristics of the region, or events. The grants were finalized by an act of juridical possession several months later. The transactions were recorded in documents known as Acts of the Visit of the Royal Commissioners (Autos de la general visita). Some 170 porciones granted in what is now Texas are entered in the five visitas. In addition to the grants with water frontage, the royal officials also made larger grants at the back of the porciones or along the Gulf of Mexico. Most of these grants, which were intended for grazing, went to influential citizens of Camargo and Reynosa. They often covered large expanses of land, the largest being the 600,000-acre Agostadero de San Juan de Carricitos grant to José Narisco Cabazos. The small number of grants initially made to women usually went to recipients whose husbands had died after the grants were initiated and before they were perfected, or to women who were heads of households. A number of women, particularly from wealthy or influential families, were in possession of large parcels of land by the end of the colonial period.

Land grants in other regions followed somewhat different patterns. Along the upper Rio Grande few formal grants were made. In Nacogdoches and other areas along the northern frontier, families usually received land through oral agreements with local officials. With the beginning of American incursion into the Nacogdoches area in the 1790s, however, many families sought to formalize these grants in order to preserve their rights. Despite the granting of large areas of land in the north, the number of inhabitants of the region remained small. In an effort to populate the area, Spanish officials experimented with a policy to entice settlers from the American frontier with promises of land, religious tolerance, and special privileges. In 1820 the Spanish government passed a measure to open Texas to foreigners who would respect the laws and constitution of the country. In January 1821, Moses Austin was promised a contract to land on the Brazos River in exchange for bringing 300 Catholic families from Louisiana. After his death in June of that year his son, Stephen F. Austin, assumed the contract. Though the grant was declared void after the Mexican War of Independence, Austin succeeded in negotiating a new contract under President Agustín de Iturbide‘s colonization law of 1823 (see MEXICAN COLONIZATION LAWS). After Iturbide’s downfall in March 1823, the new Mexican government passed the state colonization law of March 24, 1825, which opened the way for Americans to settle in the northern province of Coahuila and Texas. In exchange for a small fee, heads of families could obtain as much as a league or sitio(4428.4) acres of grazing land and a labor (177.1 acres) of cropland. Under the provisions of the decree foreigners had to take an oath promising to obey the federal and state constitutions, practice Christianity, and prove their morality and good habits. Upon agreeing to these conditions and establishing residence, foreigners became Mexican citizens. The wording of the decree as it pertained to slavery was vague and did not immediately prohibit the importation of slaves. Individuals could petition for grants directly, but more often applications were handled by immigration agents, or empresarios. An empresario selected colonists, allocated land, and oversaw the enforcement of Mexican law. In compensation he was entitled to five leagues and five labores for each 100 families they settled. Between 1821 and 1835, forty-one empresario grants were made, the majority going to emigrants from the United States. Among the most important empresarios were Green DeWitt, who secured a contract to settle 400 families west of the Lavaca River and south of the Old San Antonio Road; Benjamin R. Milam, who received a contract in 1826 to settle three hundred families between the Guadalupe and Colorado rivers; and Sterling C. Robertson, agent for the Nashville Company who obtained a contract in 1825 to settle 800 families. Other important empresarios included Haden Edwards, Robert Leftwich, Frost Thorn, Martín De León, James Power and James Hewetson, John McMullen, James McGloin, Lorenzo de Zavala, David G. Burnet, and Joseph Vehleinqqv (see ANGLO-AMERICAN COLONIZATION).

Officials of Tamaulipas, which included much of what is now South Texas, also sought to encourage colonization of its vacant lands through the colonization law of 1825. Grants were made to Mexican ranchers, but the attempts to attract large numbers of settlers proved unsuccessful. In 1836 the first Congress of the Republic of Texas declared that the Texas boundaries extended to the Rio Grande, but the state of Tamaulipas continued to issue land titles in the trans-Nueces region until the Mexican War ended in 1848. As a provision of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which ended the boundary dispute with Mexico, the new state of Texas officially recognized the land grants made under Spanish and Mexican rule as valid. To quell confusion, in 1848 GovernorPeter H. Bell called on the legislature to conduct an investigation of claims arising from the Tamaulipan and Chihuahuan cession. In 1850 the legislature instituted a board of commissioners to oversee the process and appointed William H. Bourland and James B. Millerqqv as commissioners. The recommendations of the commissioners are contained in a document known as the Bourland and Miller Report, now in the archives of the General Land Office. In February, 1860, the legislature passed a measure that gave the responsibility for confirming Spanish and Mexican titles to the district courts.

The Republic of Texas made many headright grants, that is, grants given on the condition that specified requirements be met by the grantees. Under the Constitution of 1836 all heads of families living in Texas on March 4, 1836, except Africans and Indians, were granted “first class” headrights of one league and one labor (4,605.5 acres), and single men aged seventeen years or older, one-third of a league (1,476.1 acres). By later laws “second class” headrights of 1,280 acres to heads of families and 640 acres to single men were granted to those who immigrated to Texas after the Texas Declaration of Independence and before October 1, 1837, and who remained in the republic for three years and performed the duties of citizenship. “Third class” headrights of 640 acres for heads of families and 320 acres for single men went to recipients who immigrated to Texas after October 1, 1837, and before January 1, 1840. In 1841 “fourth class” headright certificates of 640 acres for family heads and 320 acres for single men were granted conditionally to residents who immigrated to Texas between January 1, 1840, and January 1, 1842. A total of 36,876,492 acres was granted by the republic in headright certificates. In order to attract settlers, the Republic of Texas also made colonization contracts with various individuals to establish colonies in the republic and receive payment in land. In addition to large grants made directly to the contractors, settlers in such colonies were granted 640 acres each, if heads of families, or 320 acres, if single. Land grants made under colonization contracts amounted to 4,494,806 acres. As a further inducement to settlers, in 1845 the Congress of the republic passed the first Pre-emption Act, which gave to persons who had previously settled upon and improved vacant public lands, or who might thereafter settle upon and improve them, the right to purchase (pre-empt) up to 320 acres. Pre-emptors, or homesteaders, were required to cover their locations with valid certificates within three years. Under the state government this period was extended to January 1, 1854. By an act of 1853 homestead grants of not more than 320 acres were made available to those who had settled under the Pre-emption Act. This act was replaced by the Homestead Act of 1854, which reduced homestead grants to 160 acres and required a residence of three years. The policy of homestead grants was continued under acts of 1866 and 1870 and under the Constitution of 1876. The amount of land disposed of under the pre-emption and homestead laws of Texas is recorded at 4,847,136 acres.

Both the republic and state granted lands for military service in the form of bounty and donation grants. An act of December 21, 1837, provided for donation certificates of 640 acres each to all persons who had engaged in the battle of San Jacinto, to all who were wounded the day before, and to all who were detailed to guard the baggage at Harrisburg; by the same act bounty warrants were granted to those who had participated in the siege of Bexar, the Goliad campaigns of 1835 and 1836, and the battle of the Alamo,qqv or to their survivors. By an act of 1879 certificates for an additional 640 acres were granted under stringent restrictions to indigent veterans of the Texas Revolution. An act of 1868 granted warrants to Texans who had fought in the Union Army, but no land was ever claimed under this law. In 1881 the state voted to issue bounty warrants for 1,280 acres to Confederate veterans who had been permanently disabled in service. Bounty and donation grants for military service amounted to a total of 3,149,234 acres.

Vast areas of Texas lands were also granted in return for making internal improvements: building railroads, canals, and irrigationditches, constructing shipbuilding facilities, clearing river channels, and, during the Civil War, manufacturing firearms and munitions and constructing highways. Lands granted to railroads amounted to 32,153,878 acres, or nearly one-fifth of the total area of the state. For other internal improvements a total of 138,640 acres was granted (see LAND GRANTS FOR INTERNAL IMPROVEMENTS).

Finally, special education land grants totaling 172,319 acres were made by the Republic of Texas to private colleges and seminaries. Other lands were subsequently set aside for state educational and eleemosynary institutions, but they are more appropriately classified as land appropriations for education rather than grants.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Archives, Texas General Land Office, Austin. Curtis Bishop, Lots of Land (Austin: Steck, 1949). Carlos E. Castañeda, Our Catholic Heritage in Texas (7 vols., Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones, 1936–58; rpt., New York: Arno, 1976). Jesús F. de la Teja, San Antonio de Béxar: A Community on New Spain’s Northern Frontier (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1995). Galen D. Greaser and Jesús F. de la Teja, “Quieting Title to Spanish and Mexican Land Grants in the Trans-Nueces: The Bourland and Miller Commission, 1850–1852,” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 95 (April 1992). Guide to Spanish and Mexican Land Grants in South Texas (Austin: Texas General Land Office, 1988). History and Disposition of the Texas Public Domain (Austin: Texas General Land Office, 1942; 2d ed. 1945). History of Texas Land (Austin: Texas General Land Office, 1958). Aldon Socrates Lang, Financial History of the Public Lands in Texas (Baylor Bulletin 35.3, Waco: Baylor University, 1932; rpt., New York: Arno Press, 1979). Thomas L. Miller, Bounty and Donation Land Grants of Texas, 1835–1888 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1967). Thomas L. Miller, The Public Lands of Texas, 1519–1970 (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1972). Thomas L. Miller, “Texas Land Grants to Veterans of the Revolution and Signers of the Declaration of Independence,”Southwestern Historical Quarterly 64 (January 1961). Florence J. Scott, Royal Land Grants North of the Rio Grande, 1777–1821(Waco: Texian Press, 1969). Virginia H. Taylor, Index to Spanish and Mexican Land Grants (Austin: General Land Office, 1976).

(https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/mpl01), accessed August 10, 2014. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

used  by permission

Photo credit :  Based on the Map Collection from the General Land Office, Austin, Texas. Site: http://www.texasbeyondhistory.net/st-plains/images/he14.html

 

 

Rebuttal to Lance Bruun kens5.com comments

Lance Bruun Commission Chairman is mistaken about the 1876 Texas Constitution, in his latest comments to kens5 news team because the Constitution actually supports the owners (“the state released to the owner of the soil all mines and mineral substances 

therein”)

This constitutional provision had retrospective effect; the landowner was given complete ownership of the minerals in all lands that passed from the sovereign before the effective date of the Constitution of 1876. , and what many people mistake, including Bruun  is the only the text about mineral rights that is about taxation, not surrender of land.

The Texas Supreme Court in 1928, in Greene v. Robinson. Rather than holding the Relinquishment Act unconstitutional, the Court

“construed” the Act in a way that would pass constitutional muster. It held that the Act did not relinquish the oil and gas to the

landowners; instead, it made the landowners the agent of the State for the leasing of oil and gas rights, and granted to the landowner

the right to one-half of all bonuses, royalties and other benefits accruing from those leases.

 

http://www.kens5.com/story/news/investigations/i-team/2014/11/25/oil-money-heirs-unclaimed/70094884/

 

The problem with people like Lance, is that it really makes for misunderstandings not only to the heirs and descendants but also the law makers.  If each person does their homework they will find out these mistakes.

 

 

photo credits Kens5 (please note we are waiting on official permission for photo use)