Stranger than truth... It seems the my problem resulted from the OS not being able to find the swap partition(?) I performed the following process successfully:
1 - I transferred the drive partition layout from the original to the new drive using sfdisk (easier than doing it manually)
2 - I transferred the boot sector using dd as described earlier.
3 - I moved the / and /home partitions using g4l (Ghost for Linux) which is basically a menu driven dd process.
4 - I booted the new drive and received the same error re. my /home/ken directory not being available to me.
5 - I booted the live CD and made the following repairs:
- determine the UUID for partitions sda1, sda2, sda3, sda4 using sudo vol_id -u /dev/sda1 etc. and recorded these
mount /dev/sda1 /repair
I then examined fstab
sudo gedit /repair/etc/fstab
The UUIDs for sda1 (/) and sda3 (/home) matched as I had in effect copied them with dd.
The UUID for sda2 - the swap partition - did not match so I replaced the value in fstab with the value determined with vol_id -u.
The UUID for sda4 (/vmworld) also did not match as I had not restored any data to this partition for this test. I updated fstab for this one also while I was at it.
After rebooting to the new hard drive I was good to go. The /vmworld file system was available although I had to change permissions on it so I could copy my virtual box files back. Honestly I do not recall formatting this partition(?) I intentionally did NOT format the other 3 in this test. Perhaps sfdisk also copies the format - I will have to look that up.
So I now have a proven cold iron backup and restore process. Time to do some more experimenting with Ubuntu as I know how to recover from whatever disasters I might create.