Some years back when my grandfather passed away at age 93, my mother came to me with a very old document that had been found in his effects. It was clear that this document assigned to my granddad oil and mineral rights to a certain piece of property, and we were eager to see what that was about.

There were problems, however. The document, which seemed to be typed on some kind of parchment, had degraded to the point where we could not determine the location of the property, nor could we see the name of the company that had assigned the rights.

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