This Prussian Mennonite family name probably originated in the Netherlands and may be related to the Nagtegaal family of Ameland.
Nachtigal was found in a number of Prussian families from the early 18th century, particularly at Jeziorka, Schönsee, and Montau.
Jonas Nachtigal was among the Mennonites expelled from Dannenberg in Lithuania in 1732.
He settled in the Netherlands with the aid of the Dutch Committee of Foreign Needs and farmed at Serooskerke on the Island of Walcheren in the province of Zeeland.
In 1739 he returned to West Prussia with the larger part of this group.
In the early 19th century some Nachtigals emigrated from West Prussia to Russia.