Its source is angelos, a Greek name meaning "Messenger from God."
This girl's name is used in Hungarian.
Given its associations with divine Biblical messengers, one would suppose that Angela has been in use since ancient times.
However, name commentators have determined that it only came into extensive use in the 18th century. Since then it has gained steadily in popularity, peaking in the United States during the 1970s, but still making appearances on U.S. state popularity lists well into the 1990s.