A son of Samuel Galt, the silversmith, John Minson Galt was apprenticed at the age of 14 to William Pasteur, who himself had just set up shop and was only half a dozen years older. The apprenticeship appears to have lasted a full term of seven years. It was followed by two years of medicine ????? in London. There the young man studied the theory and practice of physic under Dr. Hugh Smith, midwifery under Dr. Colin  McKenzie, and surgery, anatomy, and operations at St. Thomas?s Hospital. Galt is also said to have attended the College of William and Mary?presumably before going abroad?and to have pursued his medical studies in Edinburgh and Paris as 19 well as in London. All of this made John Minson Galt undoubtedly the best educated apothecary-surgeon of eighteenth-century Williamsburg.

On his return to Williamsburg in 1769 he bought ?a box of Surgeon?s Instruments,? married Judith Craig, and announced his intention to open shop at ?the Brick House, opposite the Coffee House when he gets his utensils fixed.? The Virginia Gazette?s notice of the marriage was short and full of confident optimism:

This evening Doctor JOHN MINSON GALT, of this city, was married to Miss JUDITH CRAIG, eldest daughter of Mr. ALEXANDER CRAIG. The mutual affection and familiarity of disposition in this agreeable pair, afford the strongest assurance of their enjoying the highest felicity in the nuptial state.