Maj. Franz de RAINVILLE, "Pour le Mérite" Order


Thank you for allowing me to join your group. I am a Canadian doing research on part of my family, the De RAINVILLE, who live in Germany. Unfortunately, I cannot read of write in the German language, and this makes it nearly impossible for me to find information. I use the babelfish translator, but the results can often be very surprising...

I am curious about a Major Franz de RAINVILLE who was awarded the cross of the prussian Order "Pour le M�rite" by the Kaiser on 6 Nov. 1918. I believe this is the "Blue Max", no?

He might be a descendant of Oberst Charles Lubin RAINVILLE who settled in Altona in 1790, but I am not certain.

I don't have any other information concerning this Maj. de RAINVILLE and would be grateful for any little clue which you could send my way.

.....................Bablefish translation.............

Danke f�r das Erlauben mir, Ihre Gruppe zu verbinden. Ich bin eine kanadische tuende Forschung auf Teil meiner Familie, De RAINVILLE, das in Deutschland wohnen. Leider kann ich nicht von lesen schreibe in die deutsche Sprache, und diese bildet es fast unm�glich, damit ich Informationen finde. Ich bin �ber Major Franz de RAINVILLE neugierig, dem das Kreuz des preussischen Auftrages "gie�en le M�rite" durch das Kaiser am November 6 1918 zugesprochen wurde. Ich glaube diesem bin das "blaue Maximum", Nr.? Er konnte ein Nachkomme von Oberst Charles Lubin RAINVILLE sein, der in Altona 1790 abrechnete, aber ich bin nicht sicher. Ich habe keine anderen Informationen hinsichtlich sind dieses Majors de RAINVILLE und w�rde f�r jeden kleinen Anhaltspunkt dankbar sein, den Sie schicken konnten meiner Weise.



He might be a descendant of Oberst Charles Lubin RAINVILLE who settled
in Altona in 1790, but I am not certain.

Adalbert Goertz responds >>>>>>>>>>>>

I am not sure that this is the right list for you since
Altona is in the Hamburg area which was not part of Prussia in 1790.
A Hamburg mailing list may be better for you.

may be I can give some information o the De Rainville's.
found in the Ranking-List of the Royal Prussia Army - in which all
officers are listed with Name (sorry they do not list the Christian
Name), Rank, date of promotion and number of precedence, function and
unit for the year 1914:

* Capt. De Rainville, (promoted Captain 13.09. 1908 Nr. 12) Company
Commander 8. Coy / Infantry Regiment 162 (3rd. Hanseatic), located in
Lübeck. This aptain war during WWI Commander of Grenadier-Regiment Nr.
89 and lived after WW I (1926) as a LtCol (ret.)(This latest information
is confirmed by the "Honour-Rankling List of the Former German Army",
published 1926).

* in the same Honour Ranking List I found a Lt. De Rainville mof
"Braunschweigisches Husaren Regiment Nr. 17" who lived in 1926 as Lt.

* In the Ranking List of the German Army (Rangliste des deutschen
Reichsheeres) 1926 I found a 1st Lieutenant De Rainville , promoted
01.05. 1924 Nr. 7, of 2nd Coy/ Infantry Regiment Nr. 16, stationed in
Bremen. The Name of the I. Batttalion, which the 2nd Coy belonged to,
was "1st Hanseatic Bn. The same was in the Ranking List of 1932 Captain
( promoted 01.02. 1929 Nr. 16) and Coy Commander of 11th Coy 16 Infantry
Regiment. The Coy was part of the 3rd Bn iof the regiment which
was called 1st Oldenburgisches Bn. ... Same guy was in 1939 LtCol
(promoted 01.01. 1938 Nr. 12), Commander of 1st Battalion Infantry
Regiment Nr. 6 in EUTIN. I did not find him in the last Ranking List of
the German Army of 1944 / 1945 which could mean that he was killed in
action or may be retired before 1944.

I did not find any De Rainville in the Ranking Lists of the Prussian
Army of 1806, 1808. 1812, 1814, 1846 but that does not mean anything
because the De Rainvilles might have served in other armies as the one
you mentioned lived in Altona, which was part of the Duchy of Holstein
in those years which was united until 1864 in personal union to the
Kingdom of Danmark but stayed to be a German Duchy and send forces to
the Federal Forces of Germany.

I hope I did not confuse you too much with the last. If there are more
questions, you are welcome.

Best wishes from lovely Münster / Germany

Hans-Christoph Surkau


1790 Altona was part of the Kingdom of Denmark so you are best advised to find the CV of Colonel Charles Lubin Rainville in the state archives in Copenhagen.

As far as Franz de Rainville is concerned, prior to WWI was a Captain and Company Commander 9th Company in the Royal Prussian Infantery Regiment Luebeck (
3. Hanseatic) Nr 162 (with a patent of his Rank as of 13.6.1909 Patent letter Z) During peace time he had been awarded the Prussian Red Eagle Order IV. Class and the
Grand-Ducal Hessian Order of Philipp the Magnanimous Knights.Cross 2nd Class.)

Since at the beginning of the war he was the oldest Captain in rank within the regiment, he was promoted to Major with a patent of 8.11.1414 Letter G.
His date of rank as a 2nd Lt had been 18.1.1891 (which fixes his birth year arbitrarily to 1871)

At the end of the War he had left the Hanseatic Regiment and been advanced to Regimental Commander of Grandducal Mecklenburgisches Grenadeer Regiment Nr 89
on of the bravest and most feudal regiments of the Royal Prussian Army. When the Royal Prussian Army closed down <due to lack of interest to continue the war> in 1919
he was retired with the rank of LtCol (unpaid). And yes that medal was the blue Max.

Looks as if you hit a bingo on your assumption that Charles and Franz are related.


Sorry Mona, got confused by your address!


I rechecked the company number and I can confirm "9" (Hallo Hans Christoph)

Second: checked the Gotha the semi-official German nobility list. No entry till 1945.

Checked J.B. Rietstap. Armorial general <as of 1887> a collection of nobel COAs

found: Rainneville (Vicomtes de) v. Vaysse vicomtes de Rainville.

and there:

Vaysse vicomtes de Rainville- Pic<ardie> <France> Ec:
aux 1 et 4 d´arg , à trois étoiles de sa.; aux 2 et 3 de gu. à trois fasces d´or

Looks as if the family was not very fond of meeting Dr Guillotine during the period of
the French Revolution and moved out of sight .


Hallo Ernst,
yes, you are right, he was Coy Cmdr of 9th Coy, but my list tells me
that he was promoted to captain with patent 13.09. 1908.

Hallo Mona, hallo Ernst,
I found some more information about our Franz de Rainville:
In 1912 he served as Capt. and Company Commander of 9th Coy, "Infantry
Regiment Bremen (1. Hanseatic) Nr 75" which was part of III. Bn located
in Stade.
To get more confused, in this "Rank List of the Royal Prussian Army and
XIII (Württemberg) Armycorps for the year 1912" his promotion is dated
13.09. 1906 List Z.

With kind regards from Münster