Did you know...?
‘Heir’ is both a genealogical and legal term.
In law, an heir is only the oldest living individuals in a line of descent. Children and grandchildren are not called heirs in legal matters, but are referred to as future interest owners.
In genealogy, the term ‘heir’ is applied to the oldest living individuals in a line of descent and the children and grandchildren are referred in genealogy to secondary and tertiary heirs, respectively.
‘Spanish Land Grants’ were bestowed by the Spanish crown roughly between 1750 and 1810, and ‘Mexican Land Grants’ were bestowed by the Mexican government between 1810 and 1836. Mexico continued to hand out grants of land in what is now South Texas long after the Republic of Texas came into existence.
Want to trace your genealogy? The ‘New Guide to Spanish and Mexican Land Grants in South Texas’, a publication by the Texas General Land Office, is a good place to start. The ‘Guide’ lists 363 original Spanish and Mexican land grants in South Texas, and gives a brief title history and patenting information for each grant. The ‘Guide’ is available by calling the General Land Office toll-free at 1-800-998-4456. The cost is about $15.00. Valuable information can also be had by going on line to www.glo.state.tx.us/archives/
Title to South Texas minerals rest in the owners of the surface. The Texas Supreme Court in a 1866 case ruled that all surface owners in Texas as of that date also owned the minerals beneath the surface. Since most of the property owners in South Texas were the descendants of the original Spanish and Mexican land grantees in 1866, the unclaimed mineral estates on those grants belong mostly to the descendants of the original grantees.
The Unclaimed surface and mineral estates is that portion of a tract of land for which ownership is unknown, meaning there is no recorded deeds or other conveyances. The ‘known’ surface and mineral estates is that portion of a tract of land for which there is record title.