Anna Dorotea Wessmann was a member of the Moravian Church and author of an autobiography; she was the daughter of the tapster Nils Christian Gnosspelius and Maria Elisabet Hartman from Stockholm, where she presumably lived the whole of her life. She married a wig-maker at twenty-one, was widowed ten years later, and in 1749 married Petter Wessman, a wig-maker journeyman. She had seven children, most of whom died in infancy or young.
Anna Dorotea Wessman recorded or dictated the story of her life two years before her death at the age of sixty-eight when seriously ill. The tone of the autobiography reflects the time at which she wrote it, a time when she regarded her life as suffering and misery.