Show ContentsNightengile History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient history of the name Nightengile began soon after 1066 when the Norman Conquest of England occurred. It was a name given to a person with a good singing voice. The name is a metaphor likening the original bearer of the name to the nocturnal songbird called a nightingale. Its name is derived from the Old English words niht, meaning night, and galan, meaning to sing. [1]

"The name 'night-in-gale' seems peculiarly inappropriate to the bird that sings in the calmest of midsummer nights. The stormy petrel may be blown upon the gale and the cry of the screeching owl may be heard above the noise of the wind, but this bird, the sweetest singer of the woodland, loves profound silence. We find that the termination 'gale' is from the Anglo-Saxon 'galan,' to sing, we can understand that this is the bird who passes the 'night-in-song.' " [2]

Early Origins of the Nightengile family

The surname Nightengile was first found in Gloucestershire where the Pipe Rolls of 1176 list Walter Nichtengale. Later in Bedfordshire, Richard Nihtingale was listed in the Assize Rolls of 1227. In Cambridgeshire, Alan Nightegale was listed in the Assize Rolls of 1260 and in Berkshire, Henry Nitingale was listed there in 1281. [1]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list Ralph Niktegale as holding lands in Norfolk at that time. A few years later, Thomas Nightegale was listed in Gloucestershire in 1286 and Andreas Nightyngale, was Member of Parliament for Cricklade, Wiltshire in 1307. [3]

Early History of the Nightengile family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Nightengile research. Another 83 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1645, 1627, 1947 and 1722 are included under the topic Early Nightengile History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Nightengile Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Nightengile are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Nightengile include Nightingale, Nightingall, Nightengale and others.

Early Notables of the Nightengile family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir Thomas Nightingale (d.1645), High Sheriff of Essex in 1627. He was the progenitor of the Nightingale Baronetcy of Newport Pond. This baronetcy has continued from the inception to today when Sir Charles Manners Gamaliel Nightingale is the 17th Baronet...
Another 48 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Nightengile Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Nightengile family to Ireland

Some of the Nightengile family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Nightengile family

Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Nightengile, or a variant listed above: Thomas Nightingale, who came to Virginia in 1648; Kathleen Nitingale settled in Virginia with her husband in 1649; Henry Nightingale, who came to Charleston in 1792.

  1. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. Hargrave, Basil, Origins and Meanings of Popular Phrases & Names. London: T. Werner Laurie Ltd, Cobham House, 24 and 26 Black Friars Lane, 1949. Print
  3. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X) on Facebook