An extensive family-based study of linkage disequilibrium (LD) in the killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIR) cluster was performed. We aimed to describe the LD structure in the KIR gene cluster using a sample of 418 founder haplotypes identified by segregation in a group of 106 families from Northern Ireland. The LD was studied at two levels of polymorphism the structural level (presence or absence of KIR genes) and the allelic level (between alleles of KIR genes). LD was further assessed using the predictive value of one KIR polymorphism for another one in order to provide an interpretative framework for the LD effect in association studies. In line with previous research, distinct patterns of KIR genetic diversity within the genomic region centromeric to KIR2DL4 (excluding KIR2DL4) and within the telomeric region including KIR2DL4 were found. In a comprehensive PPV/NPV-based LD analysis within the KIR cluster, robust tag markers were found that can be used to identify which genes are concomitantly present or absent and to further identify groups of associated KIR alleles. Several extended KIR haplotypes in the study population were identified (KIR2DS2*POS-KIR2DL2*001-KIR2DL5B*002-KIR2DS3*00103-KIR2DL1*00401; KIR2DL4*011-KIR3DL1/S1*005-KIR2DS4*003-KIR3DL2*003; KIR2DL4*00802-KIR3DL1/S1*004-KIR2DS4*006-KIR3DL2*005; KIR2DL4*00801-KIR3DL1/S1*00101-KIR2DS4*003-KIR3DL2*001; KIR2DL4*00103-KIR3DL1/S1*008-KIR2DS4*003-KIR3DL2*009; KIR2DL4*00102-KIR3DL1/S1*01502/*002-KIR2DS4*00101-KIR3DL2*002; KIR2DL4*00501-KIR3DL1/S1*013-KIR2DL5A*001-KIR2DS5*002-KIR2DS1*002-KIR3DL2*007). The present study provides a rationale for analyzing associations of KIR polymorphisms by taking into account the complex LD structure of the KIR region.