It's not just the well-to-do who are written up in genealogical journals. Common folk get written up as well. A recent series in the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record contained a serialized article that discussed my probable ancestor, Rufus D. Stephens, born in the late 18th century in Connecticut. He's certainly not a well-known historical figure.
Don't neglect quarterly genealogical journals because "no one would ever write about my ancestor." You can find links to some major academic periodicals here or here.