Worship began in this area around land
consecrated by a Fr Hugh O’Donnell in 1797.
Land here was donated by a wealthy Catholic
landowner called John Hamill -
donated one acre of land to be used as a cemetery;
his wife Hannah later donated money for a small
schoolhouse which was also used as the church
(it is likely that the area became known as
"Hannah's Town" as a result of this).
When the linen industry was established in
Ulster in the early 18th century Lisburn and
surrounding districts drew many families to
reside in the countryside around Hannahstown.
Hannahstown got its name from the fact that
seven families with the name Hanna resided there.
In those days this district was more densely
populated than it is today. One could look up
at the hills and see small cottages occupied by
skilled craftsmen working in the linen trade.
They would till their patches of ground around
their dwellings.Before the construction of a
church mass was said wherever possible. There
are many mass rocks located in Colin's Glen and
a family named Steele kept the sacred vessels
and vestaments for the priests.
In 1826 John McGance of Suffolk, a Presbyterian
landowner gave the then Parish Priest of Hannahstown Fr Charles Hendron and acre of ground to enlarge the graveyard together with £20 towards a new church.…
(THIS EXTRACT TAKEN FROM THE BOOK: "A HISTORY OF THE PARISH OF ST.JOSEPH'S, HANNAHSTOWN" PRINTED BY ULSTER JOURNALS LTD)