A Register of Royalty Awards, 1940-1983
Legislation clarifying Land Vacancies in "Sale, Lease and other handling of Public School Lands" gave the State the authority to award "1/16th of all oil, gas, sulphur, and other minerals which may be produced from such land, which royalty shall be awarded by the State" to the first person to apply to purchase or lease what they believed to be a Land Vacancy.
A Land Vacancy is "an area of unsurveyed school land not in conflict on the ground with lands previously titled, awarded, or sold, which has not been listed on the records of the Land Office as school lands."
Claiming a land vacancy is a drawn out and costly process for what is usually a small amount of land. The applicant has very little chance of being able to purchase or lease the vacancy. The legislation compels the General Land Office to notify and give purchase preference to the person or corporation using the land at the time the vacancy is discovered. Preference is given because the vacancy is usually being occupied or used in the belief that the land is already owned. 1/16th interest in the mineral rights is the award for the effort put forth by the applicant.
The Register refers to a volume entitled "Royalty Awards" kept in OVR that contains copies of the actual award contracts. That volume is also accessible to the public.
Land Vacancies - Acts 1939, 46th R.S., p.465,ch. 3, General Laws of Texas
Sale, Lease and other handling of Public School Lands - Acts 1931, 42nd R.S.,ch. 271, General Laws of Texas
The unbound volume contains handwritten entries in a spreadsheet format. The spreadsheet has the following information:
Most records created by Texas state agencies are not copyrighted and may be freely used in any way. State records also include materials received by, not created by, state agencies. Copyright remains with the creator. The researcher is responsible for complying with U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17 U.S.C.).
[Short title of Document], [Date: Day-Month-Year]. Box [#], Folder [#], p. [#]. Royalty Awards Register (AR.152.RAR). Archives and Records Program, Texas General Land Office, Austin.
Detailed Description of the Collection