John Ambrose Galvin was born in Launceston on 27 Jun 1865, the eldest of eight children born to John Galvin (1824-1900) and his wife Anne Theresa McCormick who married in Westbury on 27 Apr 1862. John senior, a master builder, arrived in Tasmania in 1842 and was a co-founder, with his brother Charles, of Galvin Town, now South Launceston. John Ambrose did not marry.
For 21 years he was 'a valued and faithful employee of CH Smith & Co. Ltd'. He was actively involved with the Commercial Travellers' Association of Tasmania from its inception in 1900. John died aged 55 on 5 Oct 1920 at Struan Hospital, Launceston. He was buried at the Catholic Cemetery in Connaught Crescent. The Heart of Oak and Austral Light Druids were requested to attend his funeral. Joseph Galvin, John's uncle, was on the Executive Committee of the Tasmanian Exhibition in 1891-92. His cousin Louis Galvin and aunt Mary Laredo are also in the Family Album.