Coussins Family Genealogy Website

Starting with Jack Coussins who married Sarah Simpson

Welcome to the Coussins family 
and associated families genealogy website.
Simpson Family Pages (click)


Lithuania  Russia: Photographs: Family Stories and connections: Links: Contact:  Databases of connected names: Rakusons Database  Riga:  Home: Obituaries   Zagare  Zagare History Revision List Simpson (To come: Family Recipes: Timeline & Tree)

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Download time: Please note that the Lithuanian and Russian pages may take up to three minutes to download as they are very large on non DSL/Broadband connection. On DSL they will take around 15 to 30 seconds.

This is not the website that I will eventually build  which will be a professional Genealogy website for our Diaspora of a family. This is a temporary site with documentation that I will weave into a readable  and hopefully enjoyable family tree. It will spread quite wide and should include many family members that married into other families and will have references to that line as well. We have already sourced material that traces  us back to 1750 on the Coussins side  and 1830 on the Simpson Side. What this is is a information source page to give you a taste of what I already have and what you can add  to if you have some information and most importantly, Photographs of family and ancestors for our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. I would suggest that you save the pages that you are looking at so you have a record should anything happen to the site (or me). Make a shortcut to your desktop to access the site as it builds. I am hoping that all branches of the family will be able to  contribute to this project  which we feel should be built while we are still  able to remember. We are fortunate in having my wife, Svetlana helping us as Svieta is Russian and a trained academic researcher. Please email me:

This page will take around one minute to download on a modem and 20 seconds on Broadband. The website will be much faster when the actual  site will be built sometime next year. Note: Please refresh your page each time you visit as changes will be made and your own system may still be showing you an older page..

December 2005-5766

 Lithuania  Russia: Photographs: Family Stories and connections:   Links: Contact:  Databases of connected names: Rakusons Database  Riga:  Home: Obituaries   Zagare  Revision List Simpson (To come: Family Recipes: Timeline & Tree)

Image Notes
Most images are THUMBNAILED which means that you will need to click the image to get a larger image that you can download. One tip is to run your mouse over the enlarged image and if a small square with four arrows appear on the bottom right side of the image, click that to make the picture even bigger such as in the Naturalisation documents.
Some will have that facility and some will not

Abraham Cussin Naturalisation Documents
Arrived in the UK in 1888.

Page 1             Page 3
(we have more pages)

Len Yodaiken lives in Israel and is a genealogist- . Len is helping me with the historical aspect of the Coussins / Rakusens as he is an authority on this branch of the family. He has  succeeded in tracing the family back to two men, Efroim and Shachna Rakuzhin. They were born in the 1750s and believes that they were brothers. We will have more information  shortly. Len also has information from Leeds and other places.

The Zagare page has some  images that Len took of the town as it is today. There was a Jewish population of over 5000 in the 1890's which had been reduced through movement and emigration to around 1000 in Zagare and  1000 in the Zagare surrounding areas at the time of the German ' liberation'.

Many Lithuanians enthusiastically helped their masters in the  murder of part of their own population who just happened to be Jewish. It must have been inconceivable to the Jewish population  as to what was to happen to them. After all they had farmed and lived together with their neighbours for well over a 100 years and possibly more. Perhaps they understood that they were to be segregated, property confiscated or treated badly but to be murdered was incomprehensible. That was soon to change though and while the memories of the Holocaust are heart breaking these memories should not be forgotten. They were family.

What happened to the Jewish population of Zagare? Len Explains.
"Many were shot. On the day after Yom Kippur, the Jews were assembled in the market square where a platform was set up. On it sat the new Nazi SS commander and some of his Lithuanian henchmen.

The square was also surrounded by armed Lithuanians.
At some point, one of the Jews realized what was happening and yelled to the community to run
away and save their lives. He himself attacked one of the Lithuanians with a pocket knife and injured him. A few other Lithuanians were injured and a small number of Jews succeeded in escaping, only later to be captured and killed. The armed Lithuanians started shooting to restore order and many were killed.

One young Lithuanian who was in love with a Jewish girl managed to whisk her away and later married her. To the best of my knowledge she was the only survivor of this tragic day.
Her story has been recorded.
Len Yodaiken"

I have also made a Zagare on Page 2 which explains from personal reports, testimonials  and interviews with both Jews and non Jews living in Zagare after the Holocaust. This is extremely interesting reading


Harvey L. Kaplan: Director of the Scottish Jewish Archives Centre in Glasgow.  Harvey is also a freelance family history researcher with 30 years' experience of tracing Scottish Jewish family history.
Harvey is working on the Glasgow and Leeds connections as well and he has already furnished very useful information. We are trying to find what happened to Grandma Coussins parents, the Feldman's.

First piece of information:
In the 1901 Census, the following family lived at 26 South Shamrock Street in the Gorbals: 





tailor machinist

































Naturalisations from the National Archives in London is relevant:


Zagare Information:

Zagare had a Jewish community from the 16th century. The Jewish population in 1897 was 5500 - 60% of the total.  This was reduced to about 1,000 by 1939, due to emigration, and the remaining community was murdered in 1941.

The umbrella website for Jewish genealogy is . Many sites spin off from here, including one devoted to Lithuania: . In the last few years, a lot of East European Jewish records have been indexed online.  The surviving records for Zagare include Revision Lists (like censuses of the Jewish community) and taxation records. Amongst these I found a number of people called Katsyn, but now I'm thinking that your lot were probably the Rakishins and Rakuzhins.  I haven't yet found any reference to Abraham (probably Abram or Abel) son of Phillip (probably Feivish).

Harvey L. Kaplin, Glasgow.

Svetlana found this which may be connected to us


Abram Leyb



age 17 



Moved  1891 

Moved to Denaburg

I will be adding photographs as we develop the actual site along with captions. Click for a larger image

A short photo synopsis on some of the family

Les and Sylvia Cousins         44 Milton Drive 1955 Brighton
1950  Les was a War         Granma Simpson, Granma     
Hero  and businessman     Coussins, Sarah Coussins (Mum) 
                                      Papa Coussins, Paul, Craig   

  Jack 1998 (Dad)     Ray, Suzanne and
 Band Leader and       Paul Coussins  2004    

Carly, Dani, Rebecca 2001      1964 Denise & Ricky  Daughter
The daughters of Paul, Ray    and son of Harry and & Pam Craig                            and Marilyn, daughter of Les &

   Craig at Riga schul 2005    Gari, Ina and Baby Sarah
                                Coussins-South Africa 2005

Passover 1964 at Harry and Pam Coussins

Sarah (Sadie Simpson)    Dani and niece Sarah               
Coussins 1975  World                    
leading Dance Authority                                                          
Uncle Billy Curtis         L to R: Chris, Rebecca, Hannah,
(Peel and Curtis)          Nina, Max  and Keith with Craig
Music Hall Stars        and Svetlana at back Jan 2006
See Photo section for more info    Craig is now Papa to his 2 Grandkids

Alan Cousins 1965
There are many more photographs on the Photo pages




Marriage & Divorce

Vital records include birth, marriage, death, and divorce records.

The czarist government issued a requirement in 1826 that rabbis, generally elected by a variety of Jewish communities, keep registration books of births, marriages, divorces and death.

Jews in Kovno and Vilna Guberniya  (region) were required to go to the synagogue to which they were assigned to register life cycle events, and each year, the government authorities went to the synagogues to copy these registers. The records were written in Russian (Cyrillic.) Some, but not all records were then duplicated in Hebrew or Yiddish. Today, all vital records stored in archives today are copies. The original records, kept in synagogues were destroyed by 1942, primarily by the Germans.

For Jews in Suwalki (district)  Guberniya, (region) the life cycle event was first recorded in the Synagogue. The record was then copied and recorded at the Civil Office, either in Polish or Russian.

The Vital Records Database is split into separate tables.

Birth Records:

Births were usually reported by the father.

The Kaunas Archives has Abstracts of birth records for Rokiskis, which were used to prove identity, and some copies of birth records for Kaunas, for the late 19th and 20th Centuries.

Fields included in Birth Records:

bulletRecord Number
bulletGiven Name
bulletPaternal Grandfather
bulletMaternal Grandfather
bulletMother's Maiden Name
bulletRecord / Publication

Death Records:

Deaths were reported by relatives who came to the Civil Office accompanied by one witness. Occasionally, only witnesses, but no relative, appeared to report the death.

The Kaunas Regional Archives has Abstracts of death records used for Rokiskis.

The Lithuanian State Historical Archives in Vilnius has 19th century Vital Records.

The Lithuanian Central Civil Archives in Vilnius has 20th Century Vital records.

Fields included in Death Records:

bulletGiven Name
bulletMother's Maiden Name
bulletSpouse Surname
bulletCause of Death / Other Comments
bulletRecord / Publication
bulletRecord Number
bulletPage Number


Marriage and Divorce Records:

Marriages were usually recorded immediately following the Synagogue ceremony. The Rabbi, the bride, the groom, and two witnesses, usually the fathers of the bride and groom, all went to the Civil Office..

Marriage records within this table contain 2 lines for each record. One for the bride and one for the groom.

Because we have so few Divorce records, those we have are included in the Marriages Table.

The Kaunas Regional Archives contains late 19th Century copies of marriage certificates in Kaunas, and abstracts of marriages for Rokiskis.

Fields included in Marriage and Divorce Records:

bulletRecord Number
bulletGiven Name
bulletMother's Maiden Name
bulletAge / Year Born
bulletRecord / Publication



























From: "David Zincavage" <>
Subject: Re: [Lithuania-L] Fw: The Rakusens of Zagare, Lithuania
Date: Thu, 18 Dec 2003 17:25:22 -0800

I have forwarded your inquiry over to the Lithuania-L list, so that any others interested in, or knowledgeable about, matters Rakussian can

Beider (1993) [p.476] tells us that Rakhuzin is a surname known to used by persons from the districts of St. Petersburg, Riga, and Dvinsk. The spelling Rakuzin is associated with the districts of Dvinsk and Siauliai. It is a locational name, referring to origin from a locality called in Russian: Rukujzhi [I believe this must be the town of Lithuanian: Rokiskis
[Polish: Rakiszki] in the district of Siauliai.

Jewish emigration was motivated by the desire to avoid Russian conscription, and particularly to escape the pogroms initiated after the 1881
assassination of the Czar by a radical group featuring prominent Jewish participation. Greater economic opportunity abroad, and the general aversion to living under the backward and tyrannical rule of Muscovy were doubtless also strong motivations for many emigrants. It is noted by historians that roughly 25% of the entire population of Lithuania emigrated
between 1882 and 1914. I believe you can probably find specific dates via the British Registry Office and/or from Ship's Passenger Lists.

 ----- Original Message -----
From: Ron Rakusen
 Sent: Thursday, December 18, 2003 9:36 AM
 Subject: The Rakusens of Zagare, Lithuania

Dear David
I found your name on the  site and you appear to be an expert on Lithuanian genealogy.
An ancestor of mine is Manasseh, Manassah (Mnasha?) Rakusen who lived in Leeds and was born about 1835. He came from Lithuania, I believe and was possibly the son of Tsalel Rakuzhin, born about 1807, I think in Zagare. Tsalel's father was also called Tsalel. Do you know how I can find out when these Rakusens moved from Zagare to Leeds, and why? Tsalel Rakuzhin is listed in the 26thMay 1858 Revision List LVIA/1262/1/99, page 599. He is shown as being aged43 in the previous Revision List, which would be the 1850 one, but I cannot find him in that one.

There is a Tsalel Rakuzin, aged 39, on the Tax Lists Table for 18th
November 1846, with a father called Tsalel, which would fit him. It says he was weak and poor, Candle Taxpayers - non-paying. That is as far as I can get.
I believe the wife of Tsalel was a lady called Beile, born in 1808 but I cannot find where she came from or what her maiden name was. Is there any way to find this information?

 I look forward to your reply. If you would prefer not to get involved, I will understand.
Yours sincerely
 Ronald Hyam Rakusen
2nd great-grandson of Tsalel Rakuzhin






















































































































































































































 Western Russia in the 19th Century

Website:2005 / 2006 Craig Coussins-for use of Coussins and associated family interest.  This is a non profit private family website and items on this site can not be used for  any commercial purposes whatsoever .  Any other use or information required as to source must be referred back to Craig Coussins for clarification on who owns the information, images and the text.

  Lithuania  Russia: Photographs: Family Stories and connections:   Links: Contact:  Databases of connected names: Rakusons Database  Riga:  Home: Obituaries   Zagare  Revision List  Simpson  (To come: Family Recipes: Timeline & Tree)