Hi all - thanks for the ideas and feedback - I believe I have a working system now

I am still testing and verifying but so far all is good ... I believe the secret is in the permissions when copying files as TheFu suggested

If you moved stuff with grsync, it is easily possible the permissions and owner were not maintained. Only root/sudo can do that and using sudo with GUI programs is problematic.
More and more reading indicates you can do it many ways but it's important to handle the flags and options in aparticular way so there are permission issues. Seems manually running rsync with the -a flag was built for just this purpose.

I reformatted my new drive and used rsync -av to get the old /home directory over there. UUID changed so I updated fstab to mount by the new UUID and presto. New 1TB home directory