Tell Gregg County Appraisal District to Properly Reflect the Christian Family’s Ownership

Tell Gregg County Appraisal District to Properly Reflect the Christian Family’s Ownership

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Why this petition matters

Started by Where Is My Land





I was blessed being brought up as a military child. My vision of being able to reach back and see the struggle of my ancestors, become a part of that struggle, bring it back alive, and possibly see in my lifetime some justice for a system of injustice in Gregg County with the outcome being a victory to the injustice would make it all worthwhile.” - Debra Christian, descendant of B.C. Christian, II. 

Help Where Is My Land assist Debra Christian, a Black woman, fight the Gregg County Appraisal District in Texas, which refuses to change its records to reflect deeds the family has filed over the decades that prove their ownership of surface and mineral rights to their land, including rights to receive royalties from various oil and gas leases.

Help her get a court case ordering the GCAD to update its records and give the family proper credit for their interest in the acreage and mineral interest on their land. 
Butcher C. Christian, Sr. was born in 1836 in Chambers County, Alabama to Lottie Christian a slave woman owned by Louis Christian. His father is unknown, but descendants’ oral histories state that he was the brother of Gideon Christian, who “likely purchased” Lottie and her children for the family’s relocation to Texas, with slave master, Gideon Christian, Jr. Butcher was twenty-one when he accompanied Gideon, Jr. and his wife, Carrie Christian, to Upshur County, Texas. After the Civil War, according to the family’s oral histories from the former slaves’ descendants, the Christian slaves stayed nearby and farmed land that had been conveyed to several emancipated slaves. Butcher Christian, Sr. became a major landholder, first owning 80-acres through a conveyance from Gideon Christian, Jr. At the time of Butcher’s death, the G.W. Hooper Survey, Gregg County, shows his estate owned 665 acres. The area is currently known as Gregg County, Texas and became part of the East Texas Oilfield. 
In 1930, B.C. Christian, Sr’s heirs had the land officially surveyed by county surveyor, W.E. Jones, and divided between them (partition). Direct heirs, including Debra Christian’s great-grandfather, B.C. Christian, II. received 119 acres each. That surveyor immediately obtained mineral and royalty deeds, and oil and gas leases from the family, many of them known to be by fraudulent means. In one instance, Jones presented a document he said was meant to divide the land between the sibling heirs, when in fact it was an oil and gas lease, and royalty deed. Most glaring is the fact that W.E. Jones was not just the surveyor, but also the was the notary for the Partition Deeds.  
While some of the heirs were successful in regaining their rights to the land stolen by W.E. Jones, not all were. When certain heirs attempted to file a petition to have one of Jones’ leases declared invalid and fraudulently obtained, it turned out that not only was Jones the county surveyor, but additionally, he was the judge presiding over the case! Despite this obvious conflict of interest, nothing came of the petition and property issue in which W.E. Jones served as surveyor, notary, AND judge. 
Oil companies have been put on notice that the W.E. Jones oil and gas leases are not valid and were fraudulently obtained, but they continue to operate on leases they obtain through assignments. They also refuse to place the heirs into pay status for royalty payment. 
In 2019, the Christian family hired its own landman who ran title on various aspects of the family’s ownership interest. That landman identified all that is due the family. The Christians then implemented and filed deeds with the county courthouse in an attempt to set the records in order. The courthouse filed the records, but the county appraisal district would not adhere to the filed instruments and refused to change its records. Although, all ownership interest has been conveyed into the Christian Living Trus, it is not recognized by GCAD. The family filed an instrument into the county courthouse recorded in 2019 entitled, “Affidavit to Correct Amendment,” File Number 201918623, which gives the history of fraudulent conveyances of subject property.  In addition to this, the Christian Family has advised the appraisal district that there are three judgments from the Courts they can rely on as guidance to change their records, but it refuses to accept those and still refuses to change the records.  The appraisal district does not even have a map on file depicting where the family’s land is situated! 
Currently, there is an operator that has been producing gas on the land since 1994, and is still currently producing at over $1 million dollars per month. There are also other individuals building houses on the land as if the Christians have no ownership interest at all. And to top that, the land has never been divided. Ms. Christian attempted to hire an East Texas title company to run title on the land to see if there had ever been partitions done in the history of the land. Their result was they could not do it, because it was too convoluted. So, how then have individuals been permitted to build houses on the land? Help us help the Christian Family put a stop to this ongoing fraud and attempt to steal their interest in their historic family land!  

Join the Christian Family's Fight to Preserve Their Land Rights 

You can help us protect the Christian Family and hold the water company accountable by joining the fight today!

  1. Sign this petition and tell us why it's important to help the Christian Family battle the Gregg County Appraisal District, which refuses to change its records to reflect deeds the family has filed over the decades that prove their ownership of surface and mineral rights to their land
  2. Share the Christian Family's story with your community and on your social media platforms. Feel free to share the links below. 
  3. Follow @whereismyland for updates on the Christian Family and their battle for land ownership on Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok. 

Where Is My Land is an organization dedicated to helping Black people discover, search for, identify, and reclaim land taken from them in an attempt to obtain full justice, reparation and restitution for harms committed against them by government entities or private actors. 

Donations on this website go to, not to Where Is My Land. Please donate to Where Is My Land by using this link: Donate Here to Where Is My Land

Thank you for your support!

43 have signed. Let’s get to 50!