Here you can search records of 542 individuals included in a cash book for the Manchester Naturalisation Society 1896-1909. The Manchester Naturalisation Society was formed in January 1896. It received 123 members in the first year, of whom 16 received naturalisation certificates. The society raised funds for the certificates by asking members to pay fees of 1s per week. Once sufficient funds had been gathered, a ballot was held and the winners were put forward to receive their naturalisation papers. The records tell you the name of your ancestor, the amount they paid to the fund and the date of their payment. This is a valuable niche set of records and illustrates how genealogists need to bear in mind variation in Jewish last names (and first names) when carrying out research.
It is a commonplace that Jewish names were often changed in diaspora and, for example, became shortened or anglicised during the process of assimilation in an English-speaking host country.
Less often commented upon, however, is the fact that there may have been no established spelling of the name during the period before any later formal change. This is especially the case with ancestors from the Russian Empire who (even if Yiddish-speaking) originally may have had to write their names in the Cyrillic alphabet used in Russian (and for which there was no single agreed transliteration method into the Latin alphabet used in English) and of course spelt names in accordance with Russian orthographic practices (where, for example, G and K would be used instead of H and C). This means that early records for an arrival can be expected to show variation before the immigrant ancestor settles on and fixes the spelling of a name, which he or she may change again later.
The records also show how many of the men were near neighbours - presumably, too, they were sometimes near kin of one another. One can take a look at Cheetham Hill Road in the 1901 census, for example, and compare the names of householders against those in the naturalisation book - walking the street, one will find Gordon at 40, Tuchverderber at 52, Cohen at 54 and Levinson at 60 in both sources.
If you've found your ancestor in 1901 but you can't find them in the 1891 census, then the date of the first entry in the cash book may give a date by which the ancestor had definitely arrived in the country. The same applies for the 1911 and 1901 censuses for those men whose first cash book entry dates after the 1901 census. We have published these records in association with Manchester Archives. The archive's reference for these records is GB127.M150.