Märta Elisabeth Hallblad wrote at the age of thirty-two an interesting autobiography in accordance with the tradition of the Moravian Church, containing pious reflections about the slings and arrows of fortune. She was the daughter of Captain Gustav Reinhold Sneckenberg and Anna Catharina von Lemken. Her father spent many years in Russian captivity after the Swedish King Charles XII's military campaign, as did her mother, who came from Livland. Due to her father's poverty, Märta Elisabeth Hallblad had to go to work at the age of fourteen at the home of a relative. She later supported herself as a seamstress and schoolmistress in Stockholm. She married a member of the Moravian Church in 1756, the portrait painter and professor Erik Hallblad, and contributed to the family income by tutoring girls and offering half-board and full board.