Of Hebrew origin.
From the name “Ναθαναήλ” (Nathanail), the Greek form of the Hebrew name “Netan’el”, meaning “gift of God”.
It became common after the Protestant Reformation.
According to the Gospel of John, in the New Testament, Nathaniel of Cana (spelled Nathanael), was a disciple of Jesus.
Sir Nathaniel was one of the characters in William Shakespeare’s comedy “Love’s Labour’s Lost”.
Famous bearers are Nathaniel Hawthorne, Nathaniel Adams Coles (known as Nat King Cole), Nathaniel Parker.