Abstract We describe here a number of Caucasoid MHC haplotypes that extend from HLA-B to DR and that have been conserved en bloc. These haplotypes and recombinants between any two of them account for 73% of unselected haplotypes in our Caucasoid population. The existence of ancestral haplotypes implies conservation of large chromosomal segments. Irrespective of the mechanisms involved in preservation of ancestral haplotypes, it is clear that these haplotypes carry several MHC genes, other than HLA, which may be relevant to antigen presentation, autoimmune responses, and transplantation rejection. In light of the existence of ancestral haplotypes, it is critical to evaluate MHC associations with disease and transplantation outcome in terms of associations with ancestral haplotypes rather than individual alleles.