We enhance power and accuracy of QTL mapping in multiple related families, by clustering the founders of the families on their local genomic similarity. MCQTL is a linkage mapping software application that allows the joint QTL mapping of multiple related families. In its current implementation, QTLs are modeled with one or two parameters for each parent that is a founder of the multi-cross design. The higher the number of parents, the higher the number of model parameters which can impact the power and the accuracy of the mapping. We propose to make use of the availability of denser and denser genotyping information on the founders to lessen the number of MCQTL parameters and thus boost the QTL discovery. We developed clusthaplo, an R package ( http://cran.r-project.org/web/packages/clusthaplo/index.html ), which aims to cluster haplotypes using a genomic similarity that reflects the probability of sharing the same ancestral allele. Computed in a sliding window along the genome and followed by a clustering method, the genomic similarity allows the local clustering of the parent haplotypes. Our assumption is that the haplotypes belonging to the same class transmit the same ancestral allele. So their putative QTL allelic effects can be modeled with the same parameter, leading to a parsimonious model, that is plugged in MCQTL. Intensive simulations using three maize data sets showed the significant gain in power and in accuracy of the QTL mapping with the ancestral allele model compared to the classical MCQTL model. MCQTL_LD (clusthaplo outputs plug in MCQTL) is a versatile and powerful tool for QTL mapping in multiple related families that makes use of linkage and linkage disequilibrium (web site http://carlit.toulouse.inra.fr/MCQTL/ ).