Did you use your operating system's search feature to search for your catalog file and backups?
Lost my Lightroom catalogs and all backups I have all the images in several hundred folders (organized by date photos taken)
If you have the original images but have lost the catalogs, You will not be able to get the edits in the new catalog.Did you double checked they all Gone?
When I look at a folder in Bridge I notice that my star ratings are still visible so hopefully that will still remain when I re-catalog the folders but is my only option to re-import each folder?
The best way is to reimport them in a new catalog.Its your choice you want them in a single catalog(for all images)or different catalog for each Year if your Library is huge in size.
Star ratings are saved in XMP files outside Lightroom.When in Lightroom all these changes are stored in catalog.
Yes. My hard drive failed and had to by erased and my Time Machine backup failed also.
For your future information: Backups must be on a different physical disk than the original. Otherwise, they don't protect you.
Importing all photos will result in possible loss of edits and other metadata, depending on whether or not you instructed Lightroom to write the edits and metadata to the XMP. Collections, edit history, picks flags, virtual copies are never written to XMP so they cannot be retrieved this way.
Catalogs by year is a horrendous idea, don't go there.