I have another plugin called Ultimate Member installed, which also allows editing of the roles/permissions. Apparently, if the UM plugin made any edits to the role – this plugin will (silently) fail in its attempt to make updates.
The correction seems to be:
in the UM editor, “reset” the default member roles (thus removing all UM specific data)
At this point, I can now edit the core roles through the Role Editor (including renaming) and the custom UM roles through the UM editor.
as for the custom post types… I am still stuck on that, but it seems that – even though the custom post types were ADDED, the Theme/plugin combination which added them did not do the full add… So, as long as I intend to use this theme, I may be stuck.
I appreciate the time you took to check into this and your answer actually did point me in the right direction to solve the one issue and accept the second.