The following is a condensed version of many postings found under the NIGHTINGALE and other forums. ______________________________________________________________
NIGHTINGALE, FLORENCE 1820-1910 (Nurse)
Florence was born on 12 May 1820 in Florence, Italy to Frances "Fanny" Smith and William Edward Shore Nightingale - the Nightingale part of the name was added by William to ensure his inheritance. Florence's father William Edward Shore, as a condition of inheriting from his uncle Peter Nightingale (who had no issue), had to take on his mother's maiden name - Nightingale and so continue that particular dynasty of Nightingale's.
Others says it was Florence and Parthe's cousin, William Shore SMITH (1831-1894) who assumed the name NIGHTINGALE when he inherited his uncle's estate in 1874.
In reality, both Florence's father William Edward SHORE and her cousin William Edward Shore SMITH changed their names to NIGHTINGALE on respectively inheriting the NIGHTINGALE family estates. Florence's father did so by Royal License on achieving his majority on 15 Feb 1815, while her nephew changed his name to NIGHTINGALE in January 1874 on the death of her father.
Florence took 38 nurses to the Crimean War with her. Check the website of the 'Florence Nightingale Museum' - it's on-line. Just type that in your search engines.
There is an extensive family tree on the LDS site that goes back to 1639, posted by Susan Nightingale Amos, 38 Broadwater Ave., Letchworth, Hertfordshire, England SG6 3HJ.