Historical information can be used, in addition to pedigree, traits and genotypes, to map quantitative trait locus (QTL) in general populations via maximum likelihood estimation of variance components. This analysis is known as linkage disequilibrium (LD) and linkage mapping, because it exploits both linkage in families and LD at the population level. The search for QTL in the wild population of Soay sheep on St. Kilda is a proof of principle. We analysed the data from a previous study and confirmed some of the QTLs reported. The most striking result was the confirmation of a QTL affecting birth weight that had been reported using association tests but not when using linkage-based analyses.